Arizona Senate panel OKs bill on texting, cell use

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PHOENIX -- An Arizona Senate panel has endorsed a bill to restrict both texting and cell phone use while driving.

The Public Safety and Human Services Committee's 4-2 vote Wednesday sends the bill to the full Senate after a legal review and briefings for party caucuses.

The bill's sponsor is Republican Sen. Al Melvin of Tucson. He says his sole motivation is "to save lives."

Melvin's bill would generally prohibit texting while driving and allow cell phone use only with a handsfree devices. There would be exceptions allowed for emergencies, some commercial purposes and other circumstances, but several committee members say they want the full Senate to revise the bill.

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