Indiana panel backs ban on drivers using handheld phones

Regional News

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A proposal to ban drivers from using handheld cellphones on Indiana roads is advancing in the state Legislature.

A state Senate committee voted 8-1 Tuesday to endorse the bill that only permits cellphone use with hands-free or voice-operated technology, except in emergencies.

Tina Smith of Indianapolis testified from a wheelchair about how she and her husband had stopped their motorcycle along a road when they were hit by a minivan whose driver was looking at a cellphone.

Each lost a leg in the crash. Smith echoed other supporters of a ban who compared it to the impact of speed limits and laws requiring seat belt use on making highways safer.

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