The Louisiana Senate voted 31-5 Wednesday to ban hand-held cell phones while driving.
The measure, Senate Bill 50, next faces action in the House, which rejected a similar bill last year.
Backers of the bill contend phone usage is responsible for accidents nationwide.
A bid to ban the use of hand-held cell phones while driving failed Tuesday in the Louisiana House.
However, previous proposals have encountered obstacles for years, in part amid complaints that such a restriction would be intrusive.
A bill that would make it illegal to use a hand-held cell phone while driving won approval Thursday in the state Senate Transportation Committee.
Sen. Patrick McMath, R-Covington, sponsor of the legislation, has said 19 states have similar laws on the books.
Louisiana bans texting while driving and the use of hand-held cell phones in school zones.
In other action, the Senate voted 28-9 for a bill that would allow individual parishes to decide whether to legalize sports wagering.
The measure, Senate Bill 130, is sponsored by state Sen. Cameron Henry, R-Metairie and next faces action in the House.
The issue would be submitted to parish voters on Nov. 3.
Even if approved by voters the Legislature next year would be required to spell out rules to govern the wagering.
Check back with The Advocate for more details.