Bowling Green voters strike cell law

(Originally posted May 2009) The voters of Bowling Green, Ohio, have spoken on mobile phones and driving -- kind of. The city of about 30,000 decided to put to voters the issue of whether to ban handheld cell phone use by motorists. On Tuesday, 56 percent voted no, killing the plan. “Fifty six percent of people aren’t against a ban, they are just against a local ban,” the legislation's sponsor, Robert McOmber said. But there's more. Turns out the ballot didn't actually state what a vote either way would accomplish. Here's the ballot text: "An ordinance proposing to create and adopt … [Read more...]

N.Y. regional text messaging legislation

N.Y. regional text messaging news: About 24,000 tickets for texting were issued in New York City in 2013, as of mid-October, DMV numbers show. Counties with a large number of citations include Erie (1,568), Suffolk (1,716), Monroe (1,559) and Nassau (1,121). The state of New York has upgraded its enforcement of the texting while driving law to primary status. At the same time, the governor ordered the DMV to add a fifth point against the licenses of distracted drivers. Prior to the get-tough moves in Albany, counties in New York state had been quite active in setting up regional laws … [Read more...]

Cell phone crash makes Philly mayor’s point

Almost on cue, a Philadelphia motorist with her mouth in gear slammed into a bus and dramatized the need for the city's brand-new ban on handheld cell phones. On the same day that Philadelphia's mayor signed the law, the cell-phoning woman caused a city bus to plow into several parked cars and a transport support beam, police say. Sixteen people, including a young child, were injured. The driver ran a red light while gabbing on her cell phone, police reported. Mayor Mike Nutter told the Daily News it was "a perfect example why we needed the law that I signed. When you're distracted holding … [Read more...]

Philly mayor signs ban, defies state

Mayor Mike Nutter of Philadelphia has signed off on the City Council's ban on talking on handheld cell phones while driving. The mayor did so under threats from state legislators. The Pennsylvania House on Monday approved an amendment that would prevent the state's largest city from receiving $90 million in gas-tax and highway-repair funding if it went ahead with the ban. There is no state ban on handheld cell phones for all drivers. "We are doing what we think is in our best interest," he said Thursday while signing the cell phone legislation at a media set-up. " If your hands aren't on the … [Read more...]

Philadelphia banishes handheld cells

The Philadelphia City Council voted unanimously Thursday to prohibit drivers from using cell phones unless a hands-free device is attached. The mayor promises to quickly sign the legislation, which includes a ban on text messaging while behind the wheel. (Update: Mayor Mike Nutter signed the legislation April 30, ignoring threats from state lawmakers.) "Dialing a phone number or sending a text message while driving will no longer be tolerated in the City of Philadelphia and I predict lives will be saved as a result," said Councilman Frank Rizzo Jr. The Philadephia prohibitions on handheld … [Read more...]