Motorists in Indiana will no longer be allowed to text while driving under a bill headed to the governor.
The legislation makes texting or emailing while driving a class C infraction, subject to fines up to $500, unless the driver is using a hands-free device. But a provision added by the Senate outlawing phone calls while driving was removed by conference committee from the final version of the bill.
Bedford Senator Brent Steele says allowing phone calls makes the legislation unenforceable.
“The only people that are going to be convicted under this thing is if the office pulls up and says, ‘Were you texting?’ and the person goes, ‘Well, yes.”
Steele says it’s nearly impossible for law enforcement to tell the difference between dialing a phone and texting. But Evansville Senator Vaneta Becker says just having the law in place can be a deterrent.
“Maybe this isn’t a perfect bill, but I think it’s important to remind people that texting is a very big part of accidents.”
The bill passed 26 to 24 and now heads to the governor for his signature. For Indiana Public Broadcasting