NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

States Are Avoiding Bans On Cell Phone Use By Drivers

April 11, 2001

The movement to keep motorists from talking on their cell phones while behind the wheel is, so far, just talk. Despite a huge number of proposals to that end, no state has approved such a bill.

  • Lawmakers have introduced 89 such bills in 39 states this year.
  • But as of Monday, 30 proposals had died in 15 of those states.
  • Prospects for passage are dim in the other states because there is a lack of evidence that cell phones cause crashes -- and because the public apparently likes talking while driving.
  • Also, the wireless industry has reportedly mounted a strong effort to defeat restrictions.

Nevertheless, at least 10 local jurisdictions have passed such bans. Twenty other bills have been introduced to study driver distraction or add cell phone use to police reports.

Source: Jessie Halladay, "Cell phone Restrictions Cut Off in Legislatures," USA Today, April 11, 2001.

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