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State

Senate OKs ban on cell phones while driving

SPRINGFIELD (AP) — The Senate has approved a plan that would ban the use of cell phones while driving.

Senators voted 34-20 Thursday, but the matter must go back to the House for consideration of an amendment that deals with ticketing.

It's unclear if Gov. Pat Quinn supports it. His spokeswoman didn't immediately respond to a message Thursday. The House first approved the plan in March.

The proposal says drivers must use hands-free devices or speakerphone features.

Police would be able to ticket drivers holding a cell phone except during emergencies. Roughly 75 Illinois communities, including Chicago, already ban talking on cell phones while driving.

Sponsor Sen. John Mulroe says the bill makes roads safer. Opponents say it's unfair for those who can't afford high-tech phones.

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The bill is HB1247.

Online: www.ilga.gov

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