Still no bill on handheld phone use while driving

Only 14 states have passed primary laws

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Another year of lawmaking has come to a close here in Massachusetts, without a law banning talking on the phone while driving, but should it be illegal?

“I have to think about that one before I go to the ballot box,” said Kevin Getting of Florence.

However, no one will be going to the ballot box any time soon. State lawmakers are heading home for the summer without a bill regulating hand held cell phone use while driving.

The way that the law is written now, if you are younger than 18 you cannot use your cell phone for any reason while driving, but you are allowed to make a phone call if you’re a little older. Cross the state line in Connecticut, that’s not the case. You can be pulled over.

Some people told 22News they would support a talking while driving ban. Suzanne Slater of Amherst said, “I have to admit that I don’t always police myself properly around not using cell phones. I think this is one of those times when I need the law behind it for me to actually do the right thing. It’s so tempting for me to talk on my phone but the truth is I don’t think it’s safe.”

Only 14 states have passed primary laws that make it illegal to talk on your cell phone while driving. 44 states have a law that makes it illegal to text.

“I have a busy life and my family and I reach for that phone when it rings because they all needs me. So it would be good for me to practice not doing that and be safer,” said Pamela Clark of Leeds.

Some told 22News they’re staying open minded. “I don’t like people driving and talking, as opposed to texting which is totally horrible. I’m on the fence about that really,” said Kevin Getting of Florence.

Other drivers told 22News there may be emergency situations where you need to make a phone call, and wonder if a phone call taken through your car’s speakers would still be allowed.

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