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Legislators Consider Law Banning Phone Calls While Driving

Legislators may consider whether to make Indiana the 15th state to ban talking on your cell phone while driving.

Indiana already prohibits texting while driving. Representative Milo Smith, R-Columbus, and Senator Pete Miller, R-Avon, have introduced bills to extend that ban to phone calls, unless you use hands-free technology.

Smith says police have told him the texting ban is essentially unenforceable, because officers can't be sure what a driver is doing with his or her phone.

The Insurance Institute of Indiana has supported a ban on calls in the past. President Marty Wood says members will vote Friday on whether to back it this year.

Wood says talking on the phone may not be as big a distraction as texting, but still divides your attention, especially when you place or answer a call.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says one out of 81 highway deaths is linked to cell phone conversations while driving.

The bills haven't been scheduled for hearings yet, and Wood and Smith both say the votes may not be there.

"I still might be on the front end of this, and it still may not get a pass this year," Smith says, "But at least we're gonna get more attention and we're gonna bring it to everybody's attention that it is a real issue."

Wood notes the General Assembly has a history of resistance to proposed safety mandates, from motorcycle helmets to a smoking ban.

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