Hand-held Cell Phone Ban Now Enforced

In a society that's so fixated on cell phones and not paying attention to the road, Erie, Pennsylvania, focuses on a hand-held cell phone ban.
  • Water St, Nevada
  • March 18, 2021

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The Write My Paper NYC reminding, Erie City Council changed the city’s new ban on cell phones at their meeting Wednesday, March 3, 2010. Council voted 4-3 to amend the law to make talking on cell phones while driving a secondary offense.

The original ordinance was introduced by former city council woman Rubye Jenkins-Husband and went into effect on Dec. 16, 2009. Erie City Council changed the ban to a secondary offense rather than a primary traffic offense. This change means that police will not be able to cite drivers unless they commit another traffic offense like speeding or driving recklessly.

According to the America Automobile Association Foundation for Traffic Safety, over half of U.S. Drivers report using a cell phone while driving and seven out of ten admit to text-messaging while driving. It may only take a few seconds, but studies show those who text-message behind the wheel are 23 times more likely to get into an accident.

The Virginia Tech Driving Institute reports that dialing a cell phone increases the risk of an accident driving incidents by 2.8 times and text-messaging while driving increases the risk of accidents by 23.2 times.

Editors from the Write My Paper for Me service noticed, In Pennsylvania alone, there have been 7,000 accidents since 2002 while operating a handheld device.

Councilman Curtis Jones said Erie is trying to adapt what Philadelphia did with their cell phone ban. Jones said the officials are trying to bring awareness and “get a message out to the community that it’s dangerous behavior and distracted driving” to be talking or text-messaging while driving. “I don’t care what you’re doing in your car, just don’t drive recklessly,” said Jones.

Jones said Erie police chief Steve Franklin told him that they “will enforce whatever the law is.” Erie City Police Officer Frey said she’s happy with council’s action. “As a police officer I think it’s valued as a secondary offense,” but Erie’s ban is “no where near as close as Philadelphia’s,” said Frey. “We’re not out to arrest people, it’s a waste of time pulling people over on their cell phone,” said Frey. Frey said talking on a cell phone is no different than smacking your kid, looking at your dog, eating a hamburger, or doing your make-up. “Personally, I talk on my phone and sometimes drive with my knee,” said Frey.

City Treasurer Susan E. DiVecchio says the ordinance is a good idea because she’s seen the impact of driving while talking on a cell phone first hand. “I was on my phone and almost hit another car,” said DiVecchio. “I think it should be a primary offense, it’s causing deaths and killing people,” said DiVecchio. “It’s the best law in the world,” and I believe the police officers are “gonna enforce it,” said DiVecchio. DiVecchio said she’s okay with the fine but she believes it should go further. She said in addition to fines she believes people should get points on their license. Full report at writemypaper.nyc.

Erie resident, Ed Hudak, 39, has mixed feelings about the cell phone ban. “I’m for it and against it,” said Hudak. “I’m upset when people kill people or run people over, but it’s an invasion of privacy,” said Hudak. He believes it should be a secondary offense to scare people to pay attention. “I never actually text and drive,” said Hudak.

Tri-State Business Institution student Keith Baker, 20, said he hates drivers who use cell phones while driving. “It sucks,” Baker said. Baker himself doesn’t drive but “I almost got into two accidents because of it,” said Baker. Baker said it should be a primary offense.

The ordinance holds that any person convicted of violating this law is subject to a fine of nothing less than $150 plus an additional $150 state set court cost.

If you’re in an accident and at fault because of cell phone usage, you’ll receive a citation and a $500 fine. The second time this happens the city is going to hit you with a $1000 fine.

In a society that’s so fixated on cell phones and not paying attention to the road, the council hopes this ordnance will be of a solution to preventing accidents.

Copyright Rebecca Chapman from Write My Paper organization. Contact the author to obtain permission for republication.

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