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State bill would ban teens from hands-free texting while driving

Drivers under age 18 would be banned from texting while driving even if they use hands-free devices under a cleanup bill approved by the state Senate.

The California Association of Highway Patrolmen said a bill passed last year did not specifically exempt teenagers when it allowed drivers to use voice-operated and hands-free devices to dictate, send or listen to text messages while driving.

Democratic Sen. Cathleen Galgiani of Stockton said her bill, SB194, would close that loophole.

Republican Sen. Bob Huff of Diamond Bar supports limiting the possible distractions for inexperienced drivers. As a father of four, Huff said he knows that “there’s no more social creature in the world than a teen.”

The bill was approved on a 35-3 vote Monday and was sent to the Assembly.

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