Indiana bill would bar all cell phones in vehicles

| 1/23/2004

An Indiana state lawmaker wants to prohibit people from using mobile phones – even “hands-free” devices – while they drive.

The bill, sponsored by state Sen. Rose Ann Antich-Carr, D-Merrillville, would make Indiana the first state to ban hands-free cell phones for drivers.

Carr cited safety as the reason for her proposal. “I truly believe cell phones are one of the causes of major accidents,” Carr told Indianapolis' WRTV.

The infraction would be a secondary offense, meaning police could only ticket drivers if pulled over for some other offense. Violators could be fined $1,000.

SB131 would exempt emergency calls.

Only New Jersey and New York have statewide bans on hand-held cell phone use while driving. Both states permit drivers to talk on hands-free devices.