As reported in the February 17, 2011 edition of the Providence Journal, nearly two hundred tickets have been issued for texting while driving since the law's inception. The Rhode Island General Assembly passed the texting law (R.I.G.L. 31-22-30) in November of 2009. It states, no person shall use a wireless handset to compose, read or send text messages while operating a motor vehicle on any public street or public highway within the state of Rhode Island.
The penalties include any person who violates any of the provisions of this section shall, upon conviction, be subject to a fine of eighty-five dollars ($85.00); for a second conviction shall be subject to a fine of one hundred dollars ($100); and for a third or subsequent conviction a person shall be subject to a fine of one hundred twenty-five dollars ($125). All violations arising out of this section shall be heard in the Rhode Island Traffic Tribunal.