Beachwood Cell Phone Ban Active Today

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BEACHWOOD, Ohio -- A city-wide cell phone ban is in effect!

On Tuesday, Beachwood Police began cracking down on drivers who talk on the phone or text behind the wheel. The new ordinance also prohibits drivers from using electronic devices such as a GPS or computer. Hands-free devices such as a "Bluetooth" are permissible.

After a six-week grace period, police are issuing tickets to anyone who is caught using their phone. Violators will be slapped with a $101 fine and will get two points on their license.

Some drivers feel the penalties are too harsh. "I don't think it's fair. Sometimes you need to adjust your GPS while driving," said Bryan Miller. "I think it's a little overkill.”

"Now the points? Come on! You wanna charge me money, okay, but the points, that's too much," said driver Jennel Unger.

"We have a lot of accidents and alot of them are due to driver inattention," said Beachwood Patrolman Rich Lesick. "Obviously no one is happy to get a ticket when that happens but the idea is to increase public safety. It's not about making money. It's about decreasing accidents, injury and property damage."

"Public safety my butt. If people want to get away with stuff, they're going to get away with it," said Unger.

Police say the only time drivers can use the phone is to call 911 during an emergency situation. Officers say motorists should pull over in a parking if they want to text or make a phone call.

City employees are allowed to use their phone while driving for work purposes. Some drivers feel that is a double-standard.

"They're trying to make money. It's definitely safer but more of an inconvenience than anything."