Bill Requiring Hands-Free Device While Driving Passes Senate

The legislation originally banned only texting while driving.

texting

Photo: Courtesy: Flickr, Alex Ragone

A bill that's on its way to the state Senate would place tougher restrictions on texting while driving.

A bill requiring a hands-free device to use a cell phone while driving passed the Senate Tuesday. The legislation originally banned only texting while driving, and Markle Senator Travis Holdman said he was slightly surprised his bill passed after being amended to include all handheld devices. Holdman also said he will now push for the law to remain a complete handheld ban as it moves back to the House.

“All the research shows that it’s no better to use a Bluetooth device than it is to hold the phone in your hand, but if it comes to an enforcement issue, I believes this resolves some of the questions the folks have about enforcement, because if folks are holding the phone to their ear, they could be ticketed for that,” said Holdman.

Bedford Senator Brent Steele proposed the amendment to incorporate all handheld devices, but voted against the bill Tuesday.

“There’s so many different things that we do in our driving lives that are dangerous that to pick this out as just one of the things to go after didn’t make sense to me,” said Steele.

Indianapolis Senator Scott Schneider, who also voted against the bill, echoed Steele’s objection.

“And I just think it’s bad public policy when we start to carve out certain things when we already have a law on the books that says you’re to operate your vehicle in a safe manner,” said Schneider.

The bill passed 29 to 20.

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