Bill to ban handheld cellphone use while driving sent to Raimondo

Woman driving car and texting message on smartphone, using mobile phone device while driving, dangerous and risky behavior in traffic

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A bill that would outlaw the use of cellphones while driving is awaiting the governor’s signature.

The full House voted in favor of the proposed ban Thursday, and the Senate approved it Friday amid a dispute between the chambers.

The Senate passed an amended $9.2 billion state budget plan Friday, but the House was abruptly sent home by Speaker Nicholas Mattiello.

The Democrat says he ended the session when he learned the Senate planned to make a last-minute change to the budget.

Several other bills are pending.

The cellphone legislation would prohibit drivers from talking on hand-held devices except in emergencies. Violators could be fined.

Rhode Island already prohibits texting while driving but doesn’t ban holding the phone to talk.

Several states prohibit using a hand-held phone while driving.