- Associated Press - Saturday, January 14, 2017

GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) - A Great Falls lawmaker has introduced a bill that would prevent local governments from placing bans on talking or texting on a cellphone while driving.

Republican Rep. Jeremy Trebas tells the Great Falls Tribune (https://gftrib.com/2ioOMqL) that studies have not shown such bans result in fewer crashes or insurance claims.

Russ Rader, a spokesman for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, said hand-held cellphone and texting bans do change driver behavior, but the institute has not found any evidence there is a corresponding reduction in crashes in states that enact the restrictions.

Montana does not have a statewide ban, but 10 cities and towns do, including Billings, Bozeman, Butte, Great Falls, Helena and Missoula.

The House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hear Trebas’ bill on Tuesday.

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Information from: Great Falls Tribune, https://www.greatfallstribune.com

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