Senate OKs limits on driving with cellphones

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - The Rhode Island Senate has approved a bill that would require a hands-free device to use a cellphone while driving.

The Senate approved the bill unanimously on Thursday. It must still be approved by the House.

The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Susan Sosnowski, a Democrat from South Kingstown, says talking on the phone while driving with one hand off the wheel is just as distracting as texting while driving, which is banned. She says it’s about safety.

The National Transportation Safety Board in 2011 recommended that states ban hands-free, as well as hand-held, cellphone use while driving, since both distract drivers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says headset cell phone use is not substantially safer than hand-held use.

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