A Kentucky Lawmaker Wants To Completely Ban Handheld Cell Phone Use While Driving

Nov 16, 2021 at 4:40 pm
Rep. James Tipton, R-Taylorsville, holds a Bluetooth device as he explains possible legislation concerning hand-held device bans while driving in the Interim Joint Committee on Transportation.
Rep. James Tipton, R-Taylorsville, holds a Bluetooth device as he explains possible legislation concerning hand-held device bans while driving in the Interim Joint Committee on Transportation. Photo courtesy of LRC Public Information

While testifying before the Interim Joint Committee on Transportation on Monday, Rep. James Tipton, R-Taylorsville, said that he intends to file a bill during the 2022 legislative session that would make it illegal in the state to handle a cell phone while driving, although the hands-free use of personal devices would still be allowed.

“We’re talking about proposed legislation that’s intended to save lives and improve public safety,” Tipton said.

Texting and driving is currently illegal in Kentucky, but Tipton argues that doesn’t go far enough. 

Several states including Arizona, California, Illinois, Indiana, Georgia and others currently have a hands-free law.

According to a draft of the bill request, drivers would be fined at least $50 but no more than $100 for a first or second offense. The third offense — or if an offense results in an accident — would be at least $100, but no more than $199. A violation in an active school zone or construction zone, would carry a penalty of at least $200, but no more than $250. 

During the 2020 legislative session, Tipton sponsored a similar bill, House Bill 255, which didn’t make it to a floor vote in either chamber.  

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