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Friday, June 3, 2005

06/03/05 - News Clips - Ban on motorists' phone use OK'd

Greenwich Time - Greenwich, Conn.
Author: Tobin A. Coleman; Staff Writer

...Sen. William Nicker-son, R-Greenwich, said concerns raised by opponents do not stand up to scrutiny in the face of 36,000 annual deaths on the nation's highways, some traced to drivers distracted by using a cell phone. Nickerson said activities such as eating, combing one's hair or drinking from a can of soda are not the same...

...The bill was introduced on the floor by Sen. Biagio "Billy" Ciotto, D-Wethersfield, co-chairman of the joint Transportation Committee, who until this year was one of the bill's most ardent opponents. But he said his mind was changed this year due to the proliferation of cell phones, the coaxing of the bill's main sponsor, state Rep. Richard Roy, D-Milford, and statistics that suggest the ban would make streets safer...

...An amendment was defeated that would have also banned the use by drivers of other hand-held electronic devices, including Palm Pilots, text messaging devices, video games, laptops and DVD players. Ciotto told senators to vote against all five proposed amendments to keep from having to send the bill back to the House for another vote in the waning days of the legislative session. But he promised another bill soon will be used as a vehicle to consider most of them...

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