The House Transportation Committee overwhelming supports legislation that would prohibit hand held cell phone use while driving. Jennifer Smith with says 18 states have approved similar laws and in some states like Georgia, they’ve seen amazing results.

“Cherokee County, they go from 34 fatal crashes to the year the law went into effect in the middle of the year in went down to 18 and this year only one,” said Smith.

A similar bill in Louisiana died in the Senate last year. Shreveport Representative Barbara Norton says there are plenty of things that can you distract you while you drive, so why just pick on hand held cell phone use.

“Putting neck ties on, drinking coffee, eating a sandwich, I think all of those things bears  an effect when it comes to accidents and for you to just pull one out,” said Norton.

Supporters of the proposed handheld cell phone ban say statistics show that talking or texting on the phone is contributing to more and more accidents. Bogalusa Representative Malinda White says she doesn’t need stats to know Louisiana needs a handheld cell phone ban.

“I actually have a lot of fear of driving from Bogalusa to here, where I didn’t used to think about it so much, because I see so many people distracted and a lot of it is with our cell phones,” said White.

The measure heads to the House for further discussion.

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