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Cell Phone Ban Bill Clears Senate

Oregon drivers could soon have to hang up the cell phone or get a hands-free device.

A bill that would ban driving while talking on a hand-held phone won approval in the Oregon Senate Tuesday. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman reports.

To her colleagues' amusement, Democratic Senator Ginny Burdick made her case for the bill by acting out a pretend conversation with a constituent who was calling while behind the wheel.

Sen. Ginny Burdick: “Yes, they can stop you, just for doing it. You don't have to get in a wreck or swerve or anything. It's a primary offense. I know, Mr. Jackson, but you have to understand that, um, I'm hearing a lot of honking. Is everything okay?”

The fictitious Mr. Jackson was apparently driving the wrong way down the freeway. Despite the levity the bill narrowly passed.

Critics said using a hand-held phone is no more distracting than driving while eating or fiddling with the radio.

The bill now heads back to the House for approval of a minor amendment.

Washington and California also require drivers on the phone to use a hands-free device.


Oregon House Bill 2377

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