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DISTRACTED_DRIVERS_4.JPGCalifornia drivers would be banned from texting with hands-free mobile devices under legislation proposed Tuesday.

Assembly Bill 313 was introduced by freshman Assemblyman Jim Frazier, D-Oakley.

State law currently prohibits drivers from texting with hand-held devices, but not those that operate on voice commands.

AB 313 would delete the existing exception for voice-controlled texting devices.

In its findings and declarations, AB 313 says that "there is no difference in the crash risk of hand-held or voice-operated devices. Furthermore, no study has determined that texting while driving is safe."

The bill also declares that distracted driving is a "dangerous epidemic" that killed 3,300 and injured more than 400,000 people nationally in 2011.

* Updated at 10:25 a.m. Wednesday to clarify that the bill would apply to California drivers.

PHOTO CREDIT: Researchers at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City ask volunteers like Anne McLaren, seen on April 20, 2009, to use a cellphone in a driving simulator. Talking didn't cause a problem, but while texting she hit another car. (Jeffrey D. Allred/ The New York Times)


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