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Senate Passes Ban On Handheld Cell Phones While Driving

A man talks on his cell phone while driving.(Photo credit: DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP/Getty Images)

A man talks on his cell phone while driving.(Photo credit: DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP/Getty Images)

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – The Senate has approved a plan that would ban the use of cell phones while driving.

Senators voted 34-20 Thursday, but the matter must go back to the House for consideration of an amendment that deals with ticketing.

Gov. Pat Quinn’s spokeswoman says the Chicago Democrat will review the bill once it reaches his desk. The House first approved the plan in March.

The proposal says drivers must use hands-free devices or speakerphone features.

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

Sponsor Sen. John Mulroe says the bill makes roads safer. Opponents say it’s unfair for those who can’t afford high-tech phones.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)