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Proposal to ban handheld cellphone use by drivers one step closer to law

Only governor's signature needed
Driving Cellphone
Posted at 4:31 PM, Mar 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-10 16:31:32-04

INDIANAPOLIS — A proposal to ban the use of handheld cellphones while driving in Indiana is one step away from becoming law.

Only the governor's signature is needed, and Eric Holcomb has indicated he will approve it, with the law to take effect in July.

By wide margins, the Indiana House and Senate passed the bill on Tuesday. In the Senate, the vote was 49-1 and in the House it was 81-11,

Lawmakers are concerned about distracted driving by people who are on the phone while at the wheel. How big a problem is it? Indiana State Police blame at least 860 injury crashes and 48 fatalities on distracted driving, last year alone.

The new law allows cellphone use only with hands-free or voice-operated technology. A driver would be allowed to use a handheld phone in an emergency.

During a phase in period, violators who are ticketed between July of this year and July 2021 won't lose points on their license.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.