RALEIGH, N.C. — Some North Carolina state senators plan to try restoring robust language prohibiting handheld cellphone use while driving in legislation that got watered down before leaving the House last month.

Sen. Jim Burgin of Harnett County said Tuesday he intends to propose wording that's close to the bill's original version when it gets debated in a Senate committee soon.

That original measure made it illegal for nearly all drivers to hold wireless devices or face $100 fines that grow to $200 for repeat offenders. The House altered that measure to make handheld cellphone use unlawful when authorities determined it contributed to careless or reckless driving.

Parents of children who died from distracted driving spoke at a Legislative Building news conference and urged passage of a strong "Hands-Free NC" law.

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