CLEVELAND - A stricter city-wide ban of cellphone use will once again be up for discussion in the city of Cleveland.
Cleveland City Council's Public Safety Committee is scheduled to talk about Councilman Zack Reed's ordinance Wednesday.
Reed originally introduced the law to council on April 30, and intends to push it forward.
The proposal adds to the texting-while-driving ban enacted in 2009, extending it beyond just texting, and includes any portable electronic device capable of transmitting and/or receiving data. The ban would include using such a device to “dial, answer, talk, and/or listen, or to use a computer.”
Reed is using the state of Ohio's recent passage of a statewide texting ban as a way to emphasize the safety factor.
“Ohio recently banned texting while driving, but that is not enough,” said Reed in a news release. “The numbers do not lie. There is a direct correlation between motor vehicle accidents and distracted drivers on mobile devices. We need drivers to pay attention to the road and not to their phones.”
Safety personnel would be exempt from such a ban.
In the proposed ordinance, Reed cited that distracted driving led to 7,087 distracted driving crashes in Cuyahoga County from 2009 to 2011 – the most of any county in the state.
If caught using a cellphone, the following fines would be issued:
- First offense: $100 fine
- Second offense: $250 fine
- Third & subsequent offenses: No more than $500 fine
Drivers would be permitted to use a wireless handset in a car while parked, standing or stopped and legally removed from the flow of traffic. Other exceptions include being stopped due to a broken down vehicle or using a wireless handset connected to a hands-free device that allows the driver to keep both hands on the steering wheel.
The proposed ordinance said it’s following similar legislation already enacted in the other Cuyahoga County communities of Brooklyn, South Euclid, North Olmsted and North Royalton.
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