Philly Committee: Ban Handheld Cell Phone Use for Drivers

March 26, 2009

A City Council committee has approved a proposal that would ban the use of cell phones while driving in Philadelphia.

If the ban is passed by the full council _ possibly as early as next week _ dialing, texting or e-mailing would be off-limits to motorists within city limits. Handsfree devices would be allowed.

The measure would also prohibit the use of cell phones by bicyclists, inline skaters and people on scooters or skateboards.

Fines would range from $150 to $300.

A study by the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis found cell phone use linked to 6 percent of all crashes.

According to the Automobile Association of America, five states and nearly a dozen U.S. municipalities ban the use of handheld phones while driving.

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