LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and safety advocates want to combat distracted driving by restricting the use of cellphones, though pending legislation does not go as far as what she proposed nearly a year ago.

The bill would prohibit motorists under 18 from using a phone while operating a vehicle, except in emergencies.

Adults, however, would be exempt from the ban that already applies to drivers with a learner's or intermediate permit.

Twenty-one states bar hand-held phone use by all motorists, including five that have passed laws since Whitmer proposed a universal hands-free law in her first State of the State speech. 

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