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Legislation would ban cellphone use while driving

Posted On Wed, July 6, 2011

t's illegal for motorists to use handheld cellphones in nine states, but if a New York congresswoman has her way, that ban would extend to the entire nation.

Recently, Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy of New York filed federal legislation that would prohibit all drivers from operating a cellphone.

"Driving while making a phone call, texting or using apps can be as dangerous as driving drunk and much more common," said McCarthy. "With some basic commonsense rules that are already in place in some parts of the country, we can reduce injuries and save lives in America."

Peter Davidson, senior vice president of federal government relations for the telephone provider Verizon, recently announced his support of the landmark legislation, saying cellphones "must be used responsibly while driving."

The bill, dubbed the Safe Drivers Act of 2011, would allow cellphone use in certain instances, such as in the case of emergency or if it's voice-activated.

Though the penalties have not been determined, people violating the Safe Drivers Act would likely face fines in addition to seeing an increase in their auto insurance rates.

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