SALEM — Oregon is a step closer to joining other West Coast states that ban use of hand-held cell phones while operating a motor vehicle.

The Oregon Senate today narrowly approved a bill to impose a maximum $90 fine on drivers caught texting or talking on a hand-held cell phone.

The measure, which now returns to the House for consideration of amendments, cleared its last major hurdle after supporters said drivers who used hand-held cell phones are a menace to themselves and others on the road.

The bill does not apply to drivers using a cell phone equipped with a handsfree device. It also has exceptions for certain drivers, including those working in public safety.

— The Associated Press