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Utah may require hands-free devices for drivers talking on cell phones

Utah representative Carol Spackman-Moss is running a bill this legislative session that would require people to use a hands free device while talking and driving.

(KUTV) If you talk on the phone while driving, be prepared for some changes. A Utah lawmaker says it's time to make it illegal for drivers to hold their phones at all while driving.

Utah representative Carol Spackman-Moss is running a bill this legislative session that would require people to use a hands-free device while talking and driving.

It's not a unique idea. 14 others states already have laws on the books that require drivers use hands-free devices behind the wheel, including California, where she says the law is working well.

“You don't often see people in the Los Angeles area holding phones up," Rep. Spackman-Moss said.

That may be, but the National Safety Council says using a hands-free device while driving does not make driving safer. The simple act of having a cell phone conversation is distracting, its studies have found.

Rep. Spackman-Moss says her bill is aimed at cutting down on crashes in a way that's realistic.

"We're not going to stop people from talking on their phones," she said. "Under the bill ... people would be driving with two hands on the wheel and two eyes on the road."

Three years ago, the Utah legislature made it illegal to manipulate your phone behind the wheel. Enforcement records indicate the law is working. The number of distracted driving citations are up more than 400% since the law went into effect.

MORE: Get Gephardt Investigates - More tickets, but also more crashes, in 3 years of stiffer distracted driving law

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