Driver Hand-Held Cellphone Ban Moves Closer To Becoming Law

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BOSTON (AP) - A bill that would bar Massachusetts drivers from using hand-held cellphones behind the wheel has moved one step closer to becoming law.

The Massachusetts Senate on Thursday voted unanimously to approve the bill that would also ramp up the collection of data on traffic stops around the state, after concerns were raised by minority legislators that a cellphone law could lead to more racial profiling.

The bill calls for a fine of $100 for a first offense, $250 for a second offense and $500 for a subsequent offense.

Massachusetts House lawmakers approved their version of the bill last month on a 155-2 vote.

Massachusetts currently bars texting while driving and all cellphone use by junior drivers under age 18.

Republican Gov. Charlie Baker has also proposed a hand-held cellphone ban.

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