WOODBURY - The state Senate passed legislation this afternoon intended to toughen the laws against texting while driving.

Senate Republicans who proposed the bill say it makes it easier for police to crack down on drivers who are caught texting, making it a primary rather than secondary violation.

Under the current law, a police officer can't pull someone over solely for texting while driving. Instead, it has to be tacked on to another offense, like speeding.

"We believe, due to the consistent growing evidence, texting is lethal, more lethal than driving impaired, and statistics show that," says state Sen. Carl Marcellino (R-Oyster Bay).

Under the new legislation, if one is caught sending a text message while being behind the wheel, a driver would get two points on the license and face a $150 fine.

The bill against texting while driving is also expected to pass the state Assembly.