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Hamilton Council May Ban Cell Phones in Cars

car cell ban
(KLYQ Image)

Tuesday, the Hamilton City Council will have a public hearing and then a second reading of an ordinance that would ban cell phone use while driving in the city limits.

The council has already held one public hearing on the new law and if the second reading passes, the ordinance will go “into the books.”

The proposed city law reads:

No person shall use or have in their immediate physical possession a hand held electronic communications device while operating or driving a motor vehicle on a public highway within the city limits.

The definition of a “hand held electronic device” in the ordinance:

Any mobile or portable device that allows electronic communications to or from the user of the device, whether by voice or text. Such devices include, but are not limited to, wireless or cellular telephone, personal digital assistants, laptop or notebook computers, global positioning systems, navigational systems, pagers and devices that are temporarily mounted inside the motor vehicle, unless the device is a hands free device.

Now, the ordinance also states that simply having a cell phone on your body does not constitute immediate physical possession. And there are exceptions:  you can use the phone to report a health, fire, safety or police emergency, you can use a two-way radio while performing work duties and you can use a phone when the car is stationary in parking space. And, of course, emergency vehicles are not affected by the law.

The Hamilton city council will take public comment and will vote on the ordinance at their regular council meeting Tuesday June 5 at 7pm at City Hall on South 2nd Street.

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