8/13/2005UK: $1800 Ticket for Texting in Wales
Police in Wales will use cameras to spot drivers sending or reading a text message so they can be issued an expensive ticket.
Police in South Wales have raised the fine for sending or reading a text message while driving from £30 to £1000 (US $1815). The offense will also raise the insurance rates of offenders as six points will be added to the driver's license. This increase is made under UK's "driving without due care and attention" statute, which can carry a fine of up to £2500 (US $4725).
Police will be stopping anyone seen looking down while driving which they believe is a sign that the motorist is composing a text message with a phone or Blackberry-style device on his lap. Police will also use long-range cameras to issue expensive photo tickets for the offense. In 2004, a test of ANPR cameras in parts of the UK resulted in 20,290 camera tickets for minor seat belt and cell phone violations. These cameras are expected to be deployed throughout the country by the end of the year.