Efforts to limit cellphone use while driving grow

Source: USAToday

More than 250 bills prohibiting or restricting cellphone use while driving are pending in 42 state legislatures despite disagreement over the risks cellphones pose and the effectiveness of enforcement. The number is up from about 120 bills in just 18 states 10 months ago, according to an analysis by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, a safety research group funded by insurers. Four states — Georgia, Idaho, North Carolina and Texas — are considering banning all types of cellphone usage behind the wheel, including hands-free devices. Watching that legislation are wireless carriers and automakers, which have invested millions of dollars in hands-free technology built into vehicles. At least one insurer is also taking action: Nationwide will soon offer discounts to parents who buy technology that disables their teens' phones while their vehicles are in motion. Six states plus the District of Columbia currently ban handheld cellphone use while driving. Legislators in 23 states have introduced bills to allow only hands-free phoning.



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