Hands-free driving bills to be heard by Mass. panel

Mass. law currently bans any cellphone use by drivers under 18

Courtesy MGNonline

BOSTON (AP) — Should Massachusetts prohibit the use of hand-held cellphones while driving?

The Legislature’s Transportation Committee is scheduled to examine that question at a public hearing on Tuesday. Several bills have been filed that would require drivers to use hands-free technology such as Bluetooth, with exceptions for emergency situations.

The neighboring states of New Hampshire, Connecticut, New York and Vermont are among 14 U.S. states in all that have hands-free laws. Supporters of those laws say it helps cut down on distracted driving and prevent accidents.

A 2010 Massachusetts law bans texting while driving and any cellphone use at all by junior operators, ages 18 or younger.

Among those pushing for a hands-free law in Massachusetts is Rep. William Straus, a Mattapoisett Democrat who co-chairs the transportation committee.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press

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