OK Bill Bans Cell Phone Use By Teen Drivers

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - A bill that would prevent teenage drivers from using cell phones while driving has cleared a Senate panel.

The Senate Public Safety Committee on Thursday voted 6-2 for the bill, which now heads to the full Senate.

The measure prohibits drivers younger than 18 from using any "hand-held electronic device while operating a motor vehicle," except in the case of a life-threatening emergency.

Tulsa Republican Sen. Brian Crain says he hopes the bill will encourage young motorists to pay more attention to the road and prevent accidents.

But Oklahoma City Republican Sen. Steve Russell opposed the measure, saying it could pave the way for the ban to be broadened to include all drivers forcing Oklahomans to "give up liberty."