Hand-Held Cell Phone Ban Hits Speed Bump

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CLEVELAND – Proposed legislation to make hand-held cell phone devices illegal while driving within Cleveland city limits hit a stumbling block. 

Councilman Zack Reed, who drafted the proposal, added an amendment on Tuesday to mirror state law which bans texting while driving. 

By doing so, the hand-held ban would become a secondary offense, but Reed’s mission is to make the move a primary offense.

“They can use a Bluetooth, they can use wireless in the car, they can use an earphone, but if they are using the telephone in their hands while driving down the street, I’m asking council to give police the authority to be able to pull them over and ticket them for that offense,” said Reed.

But now it’s back to the drawing board.

On Monday, the full council will meet in a caucus or private meeting, to go over in detail what the legislation means and how it will be enforced.

Public Safety Director Martin Flask said, “Let’s re-craft this, working with council’s attorney and the law department to ensure that all the bases are touched.  It won’t take that long to do.”

Councilman Reed said the ban would also include all electronic devices like laptops and tablets.

Reed said despite the detour, he is confident that this bill will become law by October 1st

He said he now has the ten votes needed to get it passed, if and when it is brought on the council floor for a vote.