Backers say drivers could continue using hands-free devices while operating a motor vehicle. And it makes an exception for making an emergency call to 911.
But the bill aims to make the sight of a driver distracted while chatting with a phone to his or her ear a thing of the past.
The bill passed the House Transportation Committee on a 10-0 vote and is up for a preliminary vote in the full House on Thursday.
Its fate is uncertain in the Senate, and Gov. Peter Shumlin's administration opposes the bill.