Debate on distracted driving bill delayed

Boston Statehouse

The Massachusetts Senate has delayed a vote on legislation that would ban drivers in Massachusetts from using hand-held cell phones behind the wheel.

The proposed law would prohibit drivers from holding their cell phones while operating a vehicle, but would allow drivers to make “hands-free” calls using Bluetooth technology and voice commands.

The bill was originally set for debate Thursday, but a vote has been delayed. This delay seems to have been put into place to give senators extra time to review more than two dozen proposed amendments to the measure, which aims to decrease distracted driving.

House Speaker Robert DeLeo (D-Winthrop) said that he hopes to bring a similar bill before the House as early as next week.

A new vote date has not yet been set.

Massachusetts is currently the only state in New England that does not have a “hands-free” cell phone law. The state did, however, ban texting-while-driving in 2010.

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