Pennsylvania’s Erie Weighs Ban on Cell Phone Use By Drivers

December 4, 2009

Northwestern Pennsylvania’s largest city may ban cell phone use by drivers.

Erie City Council had scheduled a public hearing Wednesday morning and could vote on preliminary approval of the ordinance afterward. The ordinance would have to be ratified by a second vote then signed by the mayor to take effect.

The ordinance bans talking, texting or e-mailing on cell phones by anyone driving a vehicle or riding a bicycle in the city. Offenders would pay a fine of $150 to $300 that would be discounted to $75 if paid within 10 days.

The ordinance would make cell phone use a “secondary” offense, meaning drivers couldn’t be stopped for using a cell phone but could be cited if they were using a cell phone during another traffic offense.

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