Hands free cell phone bill won’t get vote – why not?

It would seem to be one of the most common-sense bills that was proposed in the Legislature this year, a bill that would require drivers to use only hands-free cell phones. With all of the reports of accidents, injuries and fatalities related to distracted driving, it would seem like an easy measure to pass.

Who would say no to it? No Republican or DFLer could possibly be opposed. It should be one of those bills that sails through while legislators from both sides of the aisle smile and pat each other on the back.

And yet, the bill proposed by Rep. Mark Uglem, R-Champlin has hit a snag. Minnesota Public Radio reported Tuesday that House leaders have told him the bill won’t get a vote before the end of the session Sunday.

The bill had gone through all the committee hearings and votes it needed to go through, and should be ready for a floor vote.

The Senate version of the bill also is stalled, with Senate leadership claiming only that it is “not ready.”

This is a bill that has had vigorous support from law enforcement and from teh families of those who have been killed by distracted drivers.

We think House and Senate leaders owe those people, and all the people endangered by distracted drivers, an explanation on why they will not bring this measure up for a vote this session.