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Committee Approves Bill to Restrict Minors’ Cell Phone Use While Driving

Rep. Gardner: “It’s important we do what we can to keep teens focused on the road”

JUNEAU – Today, the House Judiciary Committee passed legislation by Rep. Berta Gardner (D-Anchorage) that would restrict minors from using their cell phones while behind the wheel.

“Teenagers bring enough distractions with them when they get behind the wheel,” said Rep. Gardner. “It’s important that we do what we can to keep them focused on the road while they are gaining experience and learning good driving habits.”

Between 2002 and 2008 there were 399 traffic accidents involving cell phones in Alaska. The largest group, about 36 percent, involved drivers between 16 and 20 years old, although they make up only about 7.4% of Alaskan drivers. Recently, the National Transportation Safety Board released a study that highlighted the dangers of driving while talking on a cell phone.

The bill now goes to the House Rules Committee to be scheduled for a vote on the House Floor.

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