Councilman to Fight for Phone-Free Driving in Cleveland

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CLEVELAND – Cleveland City council member Zachary Reed plans to introduce legislation that will make it illegal to talk on a hand-held cell phone and drive in the city.

"We've got to ensure that people understand it's still a convenience and you still should not be using those cell phones in a way that put lives and properties in danger,” Reed said.  "It's definitely like eating or drinking or putting on makeup. It's definitely a distraction.”

Ohio is one of just eight states with no laws banning texting or talking on a cell phone while driving and that has left it up to the communities to make their own laws.

"If they won't do it in Columbus we got to do it right here in the City of Cleveland," Reed said.

According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, Cuyahoga County had 7,087 distracted driving crashes from 2009-2011.

That's 25 percent of all distracted driving crashes in Ohio.

Drivers have mixed feelings on the proposed ban.

"I don't think it's appropriate to be talking while you are driving or texting while you are driving," Peter Beurmann, of Tremont, said.

"It's just another thing they are taking away our freedom. It's just another thing," driver Tony Albright said.

Texting and driving has been outlawed in Cleveland since 2009.

Reed plans on introducing the legislation at next Monday’s council meeting.