Delaware leads the country in issuing the most tickets for texting while driving from the time a state's cellphone law went into effect through 2016, according to a new report.
Delaware enacted a handheld and texting ban in 2011 and has since reported 13,061 total citations statewide through 2016, representing the best enforcement of a cellphone ban nationwide.
New York, which also issued its texting ban in 2011, came in second with 11,996 citations. Other states that ranked among the top five in issuing tickets include the District of Columbia (10,952), New Jersey (7,215), and Hawaii (4,828).
The report, "The Real Cost of Distracted Driving in Your State," was complied by Safewise. The report draws on and analyzes data from the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration (NHSTA) and the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) to determine the costs of distracted driving in the US.
Three of the top ten deadliest states for car crashes — Louisiana, Wyoming, and Mississippi — have the worst enforcement of distracted driving laws, with less than 100 tickets issued collectively over the three to ten years since their bans were passed.
Mississippi, Alabama, and South Carolina rank as the top three states for car crash fatalities, yet none of them have passed a statewide law banning handheld cellphone use. Conversely, Washington D.C., New York, and Rhode Island have the least amount of motor vehicle fatalities, and all have laws banning handheld cellphones while driving.
The report also explores penalties for distracted driving. While the national median fine is $100, Missouri's is the lowest at just $21.
Alaska and Utah are the only states with texting bans that include jail time as a penalty for the first offense. They also have the highest fines at $10,000 and $750, respectively.
New York, Virginia, and Nebraska will add three or more points to an offender's license for texting and driving, which means insurance rates could also spike for those issued a ticket.
Read the full report here.