FEBRUARY 23, 2005 - Posted at 3:27 p.m. CST
LITTLE ROCK, AR - A Senate committee endorsed a scaled-back version of legislation today that once would have required motorists to use a hands-free device when using a cellular phone while driving.
The bill now would require that drivers using a cell phone have a hands-free device in their possession. Violating the proposed new law would be a secondary offense, for which motorists could be fined $50 if caught when they are stopped for some other offense.
A representative of Cingular Wireless, which once opposed the legislation because it required carriers to sell the hands-free devices, told the Senate Public Transportation Committee that the company is now neutral on the measure because that mandate also was stricken.