New legislation would make it illegal to use cell phones while driving

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Jan. 14, 2015)-- Using your cell phone in the car could soon be against the law, unless you’re using a hands-free device. This year two bills have been filed in the Indiana General Assembly- one in the House and one in the Senate- prohibiting calls that aren’t hands-free.

Lawmakers say it's to keep you and your family safe on the roads.

"We already have laws on the books that prohibit texting and emailing while driving,” said State Sen. Pete Miller, R-Avon, who authored the legislation in the Senate. “This bill would add to that, making a phone call.”

There would be an exception in the law for drivers who need to call 911, or those using a hands-free device.

Miller actually says he got the idea after he experienced the dangers first-hand just days after getting a call from someone who wanted him to pursue the new law.

“That exact same week, I myself had a single-car accident where I was trying to dial a number on my phone and hit an overpass. It was icy and I went off the road,” said Sen. Miller. “Studies are very clear that any distracted driving increases accident rates so whether that’s eating or putting on makeup or using your cell phone all those things contribute to higher accident rates.”

Still, Miller admits it won’t be easy to get the legislation passed. He’s been told it may not even get a committee hearing this year. But if nothing else, he’s hoping the bill will raise awareness.

“Parents and kids should be talking about the dangers of not having both hands on the wheel and not having your total focus on the road,” said Miller.

You can read a copy of the bill on the General Assembly web site.

A similar bill was also filed in the House by State Rep. Milo Smith, R-Columbus.