Alberta bill to ban hand-held cellphones voted down

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EDMONTON, Alta. — Legislation to ban hand-held cellphones was hung-up on as Alberta lawmakers voted the idea down 27-12 saying the law wouldn’t make roads any safer.

The proposed legislation would have been the first of its kind in Canada.

“Although I value the health of Albertans, these things must be balanced with freedom and personal responsibility,” says Tory MLA George Vanderburg.

“We don’t ban hockey or basketball even though there are thousands of injuries every year. We should not restrict cellphone use either.”

Vanderberg says he has noticed other activities by drivers that are more disturbing, including rolling cigarettes, applying makeup, shaving and blow drying hair.

The City of Edmonton is considering bringing in its own bylaw against hand-held cellphones.

New York State began enforcing a law banning drivers using cellphones last year. Great Britain, Switzerland, Japan, Spain, and Brazil have also passed similar legislation.

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