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Montana politics, elections and legislative news.

Ban On Phone Use While Driving On Monday's Legislative Agenda

Montana Capitol.
William Marcus
Montana Public Radio

Coming up Monday at the Montana Legislature is a bill proposing a statewide ban on cellphone use while driving. Representative Virginia Court of Billings is carrying House Bill 297 and says it’s important to protect all drivers.

“We think about the person themself in a wreck, but I always think about the family that’s coming down the road that they’re texting and they run into that family and the consequences of that action.”

Already, 14 states and most large Montana cities ban cellphone use while driving.

Opponents argue people need to talk on the phone to check in as they travel hours across the massive state. Court says they still can, just without using their hands.

“Hands-free device(s) are definitely allowable. We’ve made exceptions for...emergency responders if there’s an accident or a wreck.”

Courts says she fears it will meet stiff opposition and may amend it to ban only texting if necessary, following the 48 other states who have similar texting laws.

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