Lawmakers in Helena are considering whether to instate a state-wide regulation that would prohibit the use of cell phones while driving without the use of hands-free devices. Senator Christine Kaufman (D-Helena) has submitted Senate Bill 390, which would also prohibit texting during a stop at a stop sign or stoplight.
Kaufmann says the regulations would help keep safety as a standard around Montana. The bill calls for a $50 ticket for first-time offenders, $100 tickets for second-time offenders, and $200 tickets for third-time violators.
Opponents of the measure spoke with NBC Montana off-camera, saying that the government should be taking a back-seat in the issue, and that some calls are simply too important to ignore.
Supporters say it’s not much to ask to have someone use a hands-free device if it helps to keep Montana roads safe.
On Tuesday, the Senate Highways and Transportation Committee didn’t take any actions on the bill, but NBC Montana will continue tracking it through the legislature.