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Helena judge doubling cellphone ban fines

HELENA (AP) — Helena's Municipal Court judge says he's going to double the typical fine he gives to people who are caught texting or talking on a cellphone while driving, saying the $25 fine doesn't appear to be getting the message across.

Under the city ordinance, a motorist ticketed for talking on a cellphone or texting can be fined from $25 to $100.

Judge Bob Wood tells the Independent Record ( that people don't appear to be taking the $25 fines seriously, so he's increasing the standard fine to $50 beginning June 1.

Since January, Helena police say 130 drivers have been ticketed, including a 21-year-old man was fined $100 after he hit a girl in a crosswalk while he was distracted by his phone. The girl suffered minor injuries.



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