Vt. House committee votes for driver cellphone ban


MONTPELIER (AP) -- A Vermont House committee wants the state to ban adults from using hand-held cellphones while driving.

The House Judiciary Committee voted in favor of the bill Friday, but the governor and lieutenant governor oppose such a ban.

Vermont already bans texting while driving at any age and prohibits teen drivers from using cellphones while driving.

Twelve states ban adult drivers from talking on cellphones held by one hand to their ears, according to National Conference of State Legislators.

"This needs to become law. The message needs to get out there," said House Judiciary Chairman Bill Lippert, D-Hinesburg. "Whether hands-free is a total solution, it has to be better."

Senate leaders indicated they would consider such a ban, The Burlington Free Press reported.

"This is a conversation that needs to happen," said Senate President Pro Tempore John Campbell, D-Windsor.

Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin said earlier in the week that he’s "not a big fan of passing legislation that’s going to force people to break the law. The best thing we can do is use common sense," the newspaper reported.

On Friday, his staff said he would be "willing to look at the data as the discussion moves forward."


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