Erie, Pennsylvania Bans Cell Phone Use While Driving

December 18, 2009

Northwestern Pennsylvania’s largest city has banned hand-held cell phone use by those driving vehicles or riding bicycles.

Erie City Council approved the measure this Wednesday. Mayor Joe Sinnott says he’ll sign it and the law will take affect Jan. 5.

Exceptions include hands-free use — provided the phone is dialed hands-free, too — or to call 911 to report an emergency while driving. Otherwise, drivers must be parked to operate cell phones by hand.

The ordinance carries a fine of $150 to $300 and makes cell phone use a “secondary” offense. That means 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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