Senate Backs Ban on Hand-Held Cellphones While Driving

cellphonestungun5BOSTON (AP) — A bill that would require drivers in Massachusetts to put down their cellphones while behind the wheel has won approval in the state Senate.

The legislation says motorists could still have cellphone conversations but only while using hands-free technology, with exceptions for certain emergency situations. It would also be illegal to hold other mobile electronic equipment or enter information by hand into a GPS device.

Massachusetts has banned texting while driving since 2010.

Supporters of the bill, which passed on a voice vote in the Senate on Thursday, predicted it would save lives by curbing distracted driving. Fourteen other states have laws requiring hands-free cellphone use.

Fines would range from $100 for the first offense to $500 after three violations.

A similar bill has received preliminary approval from the House.

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