NM Considers Cell Phone Ban For Drivers

New Mexico – Gov. Bill Richardson wants to make it illegal to use a hand-held cell phone for talking or texting while driving.

Richardson said Tuesday his administration plans to introduce a measure calling for a statewide ban when the Legislature convenes next month. The proposed ban also would apply to hands-free devices for operators of public transportation, including school bus drivers.

The governor says driver distraction is a major cause of accidents, and the use of cell phones while driving is increasingly a problem.

The proposed legislation would make violating the cell phone ban a misdemeanor and would carry a fine up to $200.

It would include exemptions for emergency calls to and from medical, safety or law enforcement personnel.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.