Idaho Lawmaker introduces new hands-free bill, would overturn local bans

Palmer said his bill has nothing to do with his run for mayor of Meridian — he actually drafted it last year. “I had this ready,” he said, when Rep. Chad Christensen, R-Ammon, introduced unsuccessful legislation to flat-out ban local ordinances requiring hands-free devices for drivers, which more than half a dozen Idaho cities, including Meridian and Idaho Falls, have enacted. “It pre-empted the cities, and didn’t do anything else,” Palmer said. “I said, ‘Why don’t we draft a bill that pre-empts them but also fix the problem?”

“I don’t believe an all-out ban is necessary, because we have a lot of rural areas,” Palmer said. “But I certainly think it’s not safe when you’re in traffic to use a cell phone.”