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Bill to Ban Talking on Cellphones Statewide Headed to Idaho Senate

Boise (670 KBOI News) – A bill which would ban using handheld electronic devices — like cellphones — while driving in Idaho, is on its way to the full Senate for a vote.

Senate Bill 1064 cleared the Senate Transportation Committee on a 6-2 vote.

It would require drivers to use hands-free devices only, for talking or using GPS while driving, and allow in-ear Bluetooth devices in only one ear.

Caldwell Senator Jim Rice sponsored the bill…he says it would have a graduated fine structure.

“First offense would be $50, a second offense 100, a third would be 200,” said Rice.  “But if you get in an accident while you’re using that handheld device improperly, in the vehicle, those fines would double.  And in addition, they would note the device that you’re not using hands-free, in the police report.”

Fred Birnbaum with the Idaho Freedom Foundation spoke out against the bill, saying it would be better to tighten the current state law against distracted driving.

A similar bill was rejected 22-13 by the full Senate last year.