PIERRE, S.D. (AP) _ The South Dakota House has resurrected and passed a measure that would prohibit beginning drivers from using cellphones until they get unrestricted licenses at age 16.
The House narrowly rejected the bill last week. But representatives on Monday voted 43-23 to pass the measure, which now goes back to the Senate for consideration of a change made by the House.
Supporters say young drivers should not use cellphones because it increases the chances they will crash. Opponents say there's no proof banning cellphones reduces crashes.
Much of Monday's debate was spent on an amendment proposed by Rep. Stace Nelson of Fulton, who unsuccessfully proposed that beginning drivers also be prohibited from activity such as having sex or talking back to adults. Other lawmakers say they were insulted by his proposal.
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The South Dakota Legislature will decide soon if it's OK for young teenagers to use their cell phones while behind the wheel of a car.
The State Senate already approved the bill but the house has not made a final decision yet.
The bill's sponsor, Senator Craig Tieszen (R-Rapid City), says the legislation would only apply to 14 and 15 year-olds on restricted permits.
"There are really two things that seem to affect our high accident rates. One is the fact that we start drivers in South Dakota at age 14 and that has its own inherent problems. Then we have distractions that teen drivers face, one of those is use of cell phones," said Tieszen.
The House will debate the bill Monday. Opponents say the bill is unnecessary because of careless driving laws already in place.