Fine increases for distracted driving go into effect today. Hopefully the increased fine will further deter people who continue to text and drive.

The new fines should send a tough message to drivers that distracted driving is a serious problem with serious consequences.

The new minimum fines and maximum fines are below:

• For a first offense, the minimum fine is $50, and maximum fine increases to $150.
• For a second offense committed within 18 months, the minimum fine is $50, and the maximum fine increases to $200.
• For a third or subsequent offense committed within 18 months, the minimum fine is $50, and the maximum fine increases to $400.

Put down the phone!