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Hands-Free Driving Law, With $500 Fine, Passes House

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Lauren Chapman
/
IPB News

Hoosiers could be fined up to $500 for using their cell phones while driving – unless hands-free – under a bill approved by the House.

Indiana would become the 22nd state to pass a hands-free driving law.

The bill is fairly simple: if you’re holding your cell phone while driving without using hands-free or voice-operated technology, police can write you a ticket. Rep. Holli Sullivan (R-Evansville), the bill’s author, says there needs to be a “culture shift” to address a problem she says has reached epidemic proportions.

“You can see more heads looking down at their phones than you can see looking at the road ahead of them now,” Sullivan says.

The bill has broad support – it passed 86 to 10. But a few, like Rep. Jim Lucas (R-Seymour), still don’t like it.

“I mean, at what point don’t we start holding people accountable for their own actions,” Lucas says.

The bill now heads to the Senate.

Contact Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.