Rep. William Strauss Defends Hands-Free Cell Phone Bill
State Representative William Strauss is defending the hands-free cell phone bill currently making it's way through the State Legislature.
The Senate passed a bill similar to the House version last week, requiring hands-free technology such as a bluetooth headset if drivers wish to talk on their phones.
Strauss says the bill would strengthen a 2010 law that banned texting while driving but was difficult to enforce. WBSM's Taylor Cormier pointed out to Strauss catching texters would still be difficult, since most hold their phones below the window. Strauss says New Hampshire had a solution to that when they enacted a similar law last year. "They actually put law enforcement officials in high-cab-like trucks, driving along looking down into cars," said Strauss.
If passed, drivers could face fines of up to $500 and a surcharge on their insurance if they're caught talking on their mobile phone without a hands-free device.
Strauss says the bill wouldn't force people to purchase a Bluetooth device, since many newer model cars have the technology built in, and he also claims many phone purchases already include a hands-free device of some sort. "That's why the public has begun to accept this. It's not really a law that requires people to go out and buy something. It's pretty much in devices that people are voluntarily choosing to buy. Noone makes you buy a cell phone."
Strauss says the intent of the bill is to prevent further injury or death caused by distracted driving.
Strauss says he expects debate on the "Distracted Driving" bill sometime after next month.