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updated: 5/24/2013 8:24 AM

Illinois Senate OKs ban on cell phones while driving

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  • The Illinois Senate has approved a plan that would ban the use of cell phones while driving. Senators voted 34-20 Thursday, sending the bill to Gov. Pat Quinn.

      The Illinois Senate has approved a plan that would ban the use of cell phones while driving. Senators voted 34-20 Thursday, sending the bill to Gov. Pat Quinn.
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Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD -- The Illinois Senate has approved a plan that would ban the use of cell phones while driving.

Senators voted 34-20 Thursday, sending the bill to Gov. Pat Quinn. His spokeswoman didn't immediately return a message seeking comment. The House approved it in March.

The proposal says drivers have to use hands-free devices or use speakerphone features for calls.

Police would be able to ticket drivers holding a cell phone except during emergency situations. Roughly 75 Illinois communities, including Chicago, already ban talking on cell phones while driving.

Bill sponsor Sen. John Mulroe says the bill makes roads safer.

Opponents say the bill is unfair to individual rights and for those who can't afford high-tech phones.

Texting while driving is already illegal in Illinois.

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