Senate Committee Approves Teen Driver Cell Phone Ban

(KCPW News) A bill that would ban drivers under 18 years old from talking on cell phones while driving passed out of a Senate committee today, though not without opposition.  Republican Senator Stuart Adams, who eventually voted against the bill, told the committee he was torn because he wants to keep people safe, “but I also don’t know that we can regulate inappropriate behavior totally when you’re talking about eating a hamburger, or turning on a cell phone, or doing your makeup, or fixing your glasses.  It’s hard to regulate good behavior”

Senate Bill 128 does allow minor drivers to use cell phones in emergency situations, when reporting criminal activity, or while speaking to their parents.  A violation would carry a $50 fine, but the state’s Driver License Division would not be able to assess points against a driver’s record.

Rolayne Fairclough of AAA says at worst, the legislation will help parents when they speak to their teens about driving safely.

“It’s very easy for a parent to say ‘it’s the law’ when they are trying to enforce those rules.  And so I think that’s exactly what we are looking at today with this cell phone ban,” said Fairclough.

Fairclough added the bill provides another remedy to help teen drivers through their first few years of driving.  The bill passed out of a Senate Committee this afternoon on a 3-to-2 vote. This is the third year in a row Senate Minority Leader Ross Romero has attempted to pass a cell phone ban for teen drivers.