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Gov. Jerry Brown has vetoed a bill that would increase the fine for motorists who text or hold a cellphone to their ear.

Brown said the increased fines in Senate Bill 1310 by Democratic Sen. Joe Simitian of Palo Alto, were unnecessary.

"I believe the current fines and penalties of $213 and $336 for cell phone and texting while driving are a powerful deterrent," Brown wrote in his veto message. "I have found even a $50 ticket unpleasant enough. ... Upping the fines may satisfy the punitive instincts of some, but I severely doubt that it will further reduce violations."

The bill would have raised the base fine for motorists who violate the texting or hand-held cellphone bans by $10 both for first offenses, from $20 to $30, and for subsequent offenses, from $50 to $60. The higher numbers to which Brown referred include other fees that are typically tacked on to traffic fines.


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