LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) -
Most recognize the dangers of texting while driving, and now Governor Steve Beshear hopes stiffer penalties will help people curb the bad habit.
"I do, do it here and there. But a lot of times, I catch myself and I'm like, oh my gosh...this isn't good. So, a lot of times I put it in my glove compartment just so it won't be a temptation," says Brianna Dodge, a driver from Lexington.
Governor Beshear wants points added to your license if you get caught texting behind the wheel.
"It would be saving peoples lives. I mean I have seen some of the commercials. You know, with my close encounters myself, so I mean I wouldn't be against it at all," says Jade Haddix, a Lexington driver.
"People don't want points taken away because so many makes your insurance go up. So maybe it'll be another initiative to stop it," says Pam Helm, a driver from Lexington.
Under the new enforcement, drivers face 3 points for each no texting violation. Drivers are also a risk of getting their licenses suspended for getting too many points within a two year period.
According to Kentucky State Police statistics, they issued 314 citations and arrested 45 people in 2011. In 2012, the number jumped to 561 citations and 59 arrests. So far this year, 351 people have been cited and 45 have gone to jail.
"Texting and driving at this point is not an arrest-able offense. Those are ones that the officer's have actually seen them texting and driving. There has also been additional reckless driving charges on top of that. That is where those arrests are generated from," says Trooper Kendra Wilson, with Kentucky State Police.
Most people we talked to believe the tougher penalties will have an impact on the number of people who decide to text and drive.
The new regulation will first have to go through the legislative review before it can take effect. Once it goes into effect, the Transportation Cabinet will begin assessing the penalty points.