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Mass. moves closer to hand-held cellphone ban

January 27, 2012
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BOSTON—Renewed efforts to ban hand-held cellphones while driving have received a boost from a key legislative committee.

The Joint Transportation Committee on Thursday unanimously approved the measure, moving Massachusetts closer to 10 other states that already ban hand-held cellphone use while driving.

A hand-held ban has twice passed the House, but a divided Senate rejected a ban in 2010.

The bill's House sponsor, Joseph Wagner of Chicopee, calls it a "common sense measure."

He tells The Boston Globe (http://b.globe.com/AddSAZ) it makes more sense now that devices that allow hands-free cellphone talk in a vehicle are more advanced and widespread. He also says it will save lives.

Opponents say passing the measure would provide drivers a false sense of security.

It is unclear when the measure will go the floor.

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Information from: The Boston Globe, http://www.boston.com/globe

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