Cellphone driving ban to be considered again by lawmakers

BOSTON (AP) — Supporters of tougher laws aimed at curbing distracted driving will be making their case to a legislative committee on Beacon Hill.

Among the bills scheduled for a public hearing before the Legislature's Transportation Committee on Thursday are several that would ban motorists from holding their cellphones while they drive. The measures would allow drivers to talk on their phones with hands-free devices.

Massachusetts already bans texting while driving. Bills that would have Massachusetts join several neighboring states in prohibiting all hand-held cellphone use have cleared the state Senate in recent years but stalled in the House.

A measure filed by Republican Gov. Charlie Baker and being heard by the committee this week would also give police greater power to enforce existing state laws requiring seatbelt use.