City police hope a new ban on texting will help force drivers to keep their eyes on the road.
The texting ordinance, passed by city council in September, goes into effect Friday, said police Chief Chuck Colucci. He said he pushed for the ban because of the nationwide increase in texting-related traffic accidents.
“We took the proactive stance because of the increase,” he said. “We truly care about traffic safety in our community, and our commitment to our residents is to provide the safest streets possible.”
The ordinance says that no one is permitted to send or read moblie text messages or e-mails while driving a car within city limits.
Colucci said though officers have the authority to stop drivers on that violation alone, they won’t be targeting motorists.
“It’s a primary violation in the city, so if we do observe somebody texting they can be stopped,” he said. “We’re not just going to be out looking for people though. We’ll look for other things like left of center and following too closely.”
A first offense is a $100 fine, second is $250 and anything after that is up to $500 per violation, according to the ordinance.
Read more in Wednesday’s Vindicator and Vindy.com