Renewed push for ban on handheld devices while driving

Proponent says it would make it easier to enforce texting ban

iStock photo

GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – According to the CDC, 8 people are killed in car accidents involving a distracted driver everyday. Distracted driving includes things like texting and eating.

In Massachusetts, teens can’t use their phone at all when their behind the wheel. However, adults can still legally talk on the phone. But some state lawmakers want to change that and only allow hands-free cell phone use.

The hope is to reduce distracted driving and save lives. Lawmakers also hope the bill would make it easier for police to enforce the texting while driving ban. “Being distracted by looking down at your phone or looking at something else like an iPod, iPad or anything,” Hadley resident Gary Vaughan said, “that’s a safety hazard.”

Last year, the State Senate passed a bill banning the use of cell phones and other electronic devices while driving, except in emergencies. But the bill didn’t make its way through the House.

Cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes each year nationwide.