SACRAMENTO, CA – The California State Senate has approved legislation that would ban the use of hand-held cell phones while driving, AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reports via a Sacramento Bee article. California State Senate Bill 1613 would fine drivers up to $50 if motorists are caught talking on their cell phones unless the phone is on hands-free mode. Senate Bill 1613 now goes to the Assembly for debate. A similar bill passed the Assembly in 2003 but failed in the Senate Transportation Committee. The Governor’s Office has yet to take a position on the bill, the report said. Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, and the District of Columbia have enacted similar laws, while 19 other states have other laws regulating driving and cell phone use.

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