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6/15/2011 - Texting while driving bans extend to 31st state

Another state has now banned texting behind the wheel.

Though North Dakota is one of the least populated states in the country, a law recently passed there has the potential to affect lots of people.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple recently signed a bill making his state the 31st to outlaw texting while driving, and bringing the country one step closer to a nationwide ban.

"North Dakota has taken an important step to eliminate distracted driving," said Secretary LaHood. "Thanks to the bill signed today by Governor Dalrymple, North Dakota roads will be safer for everyone."

Once the new law goes into effect on August 1, violators who are caught will be fined $100 by local police officers.

While the move has the potential to lead to fewer lives lost for residents and visitors of the Flickertail state, it could also lead to a decline in national auto insurance rates if fewer accidents result. However, it may be difficult to determine what effect the banishment of texting while driving has on overall safety, as officials in states where it's prohibited say the laws are difficult to enforce. 

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