DENVER - The Legislature moved a step closer to banning hand-held cell phones for drivers Thursday.
With less than two weeks left in the 2009 session, House Bill 1094 is now just a few votes away from becoming law. The Senate Finance Committee approved it 4-3 Thursday.
The panel heard emotional testimony from Shelley Forney of Fort Collins. Her daughter, Erica, was killed last November by a driver distracted by a cell phone. Forney has been at the Capitol numerous times to advocate for HB 1094.
The bill's next stop is the Senate Appropriations Committee, with a final stop on the Senate floor.
HB 1094 prohibits using a hand-held cell phone while driving. Drivers younger than 18 and school bus drivers wouldn't be allowed to use any type of cell phone. Violators would get a $50 fine on first offense and $100 on the second.
Sen. Jim Isgar, D-Hesperus, voted for the bill Thursday.
Sen. Greg Brophy, R-Wray, voted no. He pointed to studies that show the distraction for drivers comes not from using a hand-held phone, but by having a conversation on any type of phone.