California legislators have rejected a measure that would have made it illegal to drive while using a handheld cellular phone. The bill was very similar to regulations that are now in force in New York. The measure would have made it illegal for California drivers to talk on a mobile phone without using a hands-free device and the penalty would have been equal to the penalty for breaking the state’s seat-belt law. Although the bill was supported by Verizon Wireless it failed as a result of intense lobbying from wireless service providers AT&T Wireless, Cingular, Sprint PCS and others who proposed a substitute bill aimed broadly at restricting "distracting activity" in a car.