DOVER, Del. --- A proposed bill (House Bill 78) in the Delaware House seeks to prohibit drivers from holding a cell phone in one hand while steering with the other. The offense would carry a $50 fine if the bill becomes law. The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Joseph E. Miro (R-Foxfire), would require drivers to use hands-free phones or accessories. The bill includes exemptions for emergency agencies and 911 calls. According to the Daily Times, an amendment to the bill is expected to make a violation a primary offense. As such, police would be permitted to pull over a driver spotted using a hand-held phone or PDA while operating a car. Miro told House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee members that state police statistics indicate that in 2006, 188 traffic accidents in Delaware involved cell phone use. Critics of the bill, however, argue that drivers distracted by cell phones are already subject to prosecution under the state's inattentive-driving statute.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials