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LaHood said he would like to see laws that punish states that allow the practice and also reward those that ban it, The Wall Street Journal reported. Congress is considering bills that would do both.
Providing both penalties and incentives has been effective in getting states to put in place drunken-driving laws, LaHood told the paper.
LaHood has said he favors a national ban on texting while driving but said he needed to study how to enforce it.
The Governors Highway Safety Association supports rewards for bans, but opposes financial penalties for states that allow texting behind the wheel.
"On the one hand you're giving states money to help ... the economy, but then you're potentially taking that away," GHSA spokesman Jonathan Adkins told the Journal. "It really sets the wrong tone on this."
Nineteen states have already enacted bans and 20 more were expected to pass similar laws this year, according to Adkins.
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