Minn. bill to curb cell phone use by drivers is no longer stuck

A bill to crack down on cell phone use by drivers is back on track in the Minnesota Senate.

After being stalled since last year, the bill moved ahead Wednesday when the Senate Transportation Committee approved it on a voice vote. It heads next to the Senate Finance Committee, putting it one stop from a floor vote.

The bill by Sen. Jim Carlson, DFL-Eagan, would bar use of phones by drivers while a car is in traffic unless it’s an emergency or a hands-free mode is employed.

“It’s to make sure you are not dedicating a hand to talking on the phone,” Carlson said. “This goes into the same area of statute that texting goes into. It’s a safety concern.”

A similar bill has been advancing in the Minnesota House and has the support of Gov. Mark Dayton.