Bill Would Limit Cell Phone Use While Driving

JANUARY 12, 2005 - Posted at 8:02 a.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - A bill by Senator Jim Hendren would require drivers using cell phones to use hands-free devices.  And the cell phone users would have to keep both hands on the wheel.

A first offense under the proposal would draw a warning but no penalty.  Additional offenses could incur a fine up to $50.

The bill also would require businesses that sell cellular phones in the state to offer for sale a hands-free cellular device that is compatible with each model of phone sold.

Similar legislation two years ago got hung up in committee.

The measure would allow motorists to use cell phones in their cars if parked or if contacting law enforcement, fire, public safety or emergency medical personnel, or if calling 911 to report an accident.

Emergency workers would be allowed to use a cell phone while driving if they are performing official duties.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)