Ken Schram: New texting fines would just be a cash grab

We've always been told it's all about safety.

But we've always known it's also about the money.

The State of Washington is looking to dip into federal coffers for money to pay for an educational campaign about the dangers of texting while driving and holding your cell phone while talking and driving.

Conspiring with Congress, state officials are hoping to haul in some 300,000 federal dollars that'll be used to inform us about the perils of texting and talking while behind the wheel.

I say "conspiring" because Congress is tying the money to an increase in the fines that are issued when a ticket is given.

As it stands now, it'll cost you $124 if pulled over for texting or talking.

That amount is the same whether it's your first such ticket or your 10th.

Congress says that's not good enough.

It wants states to increase the fines based on whether a driver gets multiple tickets for those offenses.

A member of the Washington Traffic Safety Commission is quoted as saying this could be a "...Powerball for the state."


The state wins the lottery and we're paying the prize money.

State officials are talking with legislators about how to cash in on the financial hook being plied in state waters.

Who wants to bet on whether the extra bucks will be spurned?

Just remember, it's all about safety.


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