Cleveland considers cell phone driving ban - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Cleveland considers cell phone driving ban

Just last month, Beachwood began enforcing a new law banning the use any electronic devices while driving, unless they're "hands free."

Now, a Cleveland City Councilman wants to do the same thing.

Councilman Zack Reed is the sponsor of the legislation, but he's got a lot of support. The legislation appears to be a done deal. It was before a Council Committee Wednesday morning, and will be tweaked before it reaches the full council.

The only reason it didn't pass was that Safety Director Martin Flask wants to be sure that the law fully gives police the authority to stop a driver they see on a cell phone.

Currently, state law gives that authority for texting, but not phone calls. However, is considered a secondary offense, meaning you can be ticketed but only pulled over if you've committed a separate offense. Cleveland's law bans all use of any device that requires you to use your hands.

A blue tooth device or speaker phone would be considered legal.

Safety Director Martin Flask wants to make certain the law is enforceable.

"Doesn't give the Chief and the men and women that work for him the ability.  Very simply, they could pull up alongside a car and see someone is talking on a handheld cell phone.  They could turn, stick their tongue out at the cop and keep right on driving. The officers don't have the authority to stop them."

Councilman Reed and others point to California, where accidents dropped by 22% after a similar ban on handheld devices. 

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