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Mar 9, 2012- Ban on Texting While Driving Clears W.Va. House

By: Michael Hyland
By: Michael Hyland

West Virginia's House of Delegates wants motorists pulled over and ticketed for texting or hands-on phone use.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - West Virginia's House of Delegates wants motorists pulled over and ticketed for texting or hands-on phone use.

Friday's 87-12 vote approved a tougher stance against these driving distractions than what the Senate passed.

The House Judiciary Committee had altered the bill so that holding or using a cellphone while driving would be a primary offense. The Senate version would not allow a traffic stop solely for that offense.

The House also sought to exempt hands-free devices which convert spoken words into a text message or accept verbal commands.

Critics of this approach have questioned how police would enforce the proposed bans. The Senate must now approve the House changes. A joint committee must otherwise attempt a compromise.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin proposed the bill's initial version. The session ends Saturday.

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