All across the country, states are getting tough (or at least considering getting tough) on distracted driving. But it’s not just states that are getting in on the act. In many cases, cities are going even further than legislators at the state level to root out dangerous cellphone and texting behaviors and save lives.
One such city is Cleveland, whose city council is looking into the adoption of a law that would make handheld electronic device usage of any kind illegal behind the wheel. Preliminary reports suggest that most of the council members support a law, and recent talks focused on ironing out the kinks of the measure.
The law would make cellphone usage a primary violation, so offenders wouldn’t have to be caught engaging in some other dangerous practice to be pulled over. Offenses would cost the driver $100 if it’s their first violation, a number that would increase to $250 and then up to $500 for every additional offense. Exemptions are made to Bluetooth users, stopped vehicles not in a traffic lane, GPS devices, and anyone contacting emergency services.
Enforcement issues were cited by one council member as a potential roadblock to the measure. The bill, which actually amends a prior texting law, will travel through the finance committee next. If they give it the go-ahead, it will come before the Mayor for a signature.