Ban on hand-held cell phones by drivers rejected

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - A proposal to ban the use of hand-held cell phones while driving has failed to win support in the Louisiana Senate.

The Senate Transportation Committee voted 2-1 Thursday against the House-backed proposal.

New Orleans Rep. Austin Badon, a Democrat, says he proposed the bill as a safety measure. Drivers could use a hands-free device to talk on the phone behind the wheel.

Critics say cell phones aren't any more dangerous than things like drinking coffee while driving, eating while driving or reading the newspaper while driving. Livingston Sen. Dale Erdey, a Republican, says hands-free devices aren't any safer than holding the phone to the ear.

Louisiana currently has a ban on texting while driving.


House Bill 695 can be found at

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.