DENVER (CBS4)– State lawmakers say the dangerous problem of texting and driving is getting worse despite the fact that it’s illegal in Colorado. Now legislators want to increase the penalties for the crime.

The Colorado law that prohibits texting and driving is one of the most lenient in the U.S.

A Senate committee took up the bill on Wednesday that would increase the penalty for texting while driving to a $300 fine and four points on a driver’s license.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

The current penalty is $50 and one point.

The sponsor of the bill, Sen. Lois Court, a Democrat representing Denver, said no message is worth a life.

“So I think it makes a statement that we know this is very dangerous and we want you to pay attention. And at $50 may not pay attention so much, but at $300, you might start paying attention,” said Court.

The Colorado Department of Transportation says distracted drivers caused more than 15,000 crashes in 2015 and killed nearly 70 people.

The bill passed its first committee hearing with a four to one vote.

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