Cell Phone Restrictions Fail In House Judiciary Committee
A House judiciary committee failed to pass legislation designed to restrict the use of hand-held cell phones in cars. A bill sponsored by Rep. Mary McAllister, D-Cumberland, caused much debate but failed to receive a favorable report. Rep. McAllister and others argued that too many drivers are being distracted while talking on their portable phones. The measure did not seek to prevent people from making calls using earpieces or other hands-free phones and devices. The proposal would not apply to making emergency calls from a car. Failing to follow the restrictions would result in a $100 fine and some court costs. Because the bill did not include a tax or fee, it was subject to the June 2nd "crossover" deadline and thus is unlikely to be debated again until it is re-introduced in a future session.