A bill that would ban handheld cell phones while driving passed the state House of Representatives Wednesday afternoon.
The measure, which next faces action in the Senate, won House approval 59-29.
Similar bills have cleared the House in the past died in the Senate.
“Distracted driving is an epidemic on America’s highways,” said state Rep. Austin Badon, D-New Orleans and sponsor of the plan, which is House Bill 695.
Critics questioned the wisdom of trying to regulate driver behavior.