Council postpones hearing on cell phone driving ban

Philadelphia City Council has postponed a hearing that had been set for today on banning the use of handheld cell phones by drivers in the city.

No new hearing date has been set yet. The hearing was cancelled after a council member has to with what was described as an emergency.

The proposed law was prompted in part by a January report by the National Safety Council that cited a study finding that using a cell phone while driving contributes to 6 percent of all crashes, which equates to 636,000 wrecks that kill 2,600 people and injure an additional 330,000.

The National Safety Council has called for a ban that would apply to both handheld and hands-free cell-phones.

Five states, including New Jersey, ban the use of handheld phones while driving.

Pennsylvania is one of six states that let local authorities regulate cell phone use by drivers.

Conshohocken, West Conshohocken and Lebanon have passed such ordinances.

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