Philadelphia drivers beware: city police crackdown on cell phone use while driving begins Sunday
By Dean I Weitzman, Esq. on October 29th, 2009
We here at MyPhillyLawyer have been harping about the dangers of driving while texting or talking on a hand-held cell phone for months. We’ve even applauded the City of Philadelphia’s efforts earlier this year to ban the practice.
Well, now it’s becoming more serious for drivers. Starting this Sunday, Philadelphia police will start enforcing a city ordinance that bans texting and hand-held cell phone use while a driver is operating a vehicle in the city limits, according to a story in The Philadelphia Daily News. At first, through the month of November, police will only administer written warnings, but starting in December, they’ll be able to hand out tickets with a $75 fine. And that fine will grow after 10 days to $150 to $300 if you think you don’t really have to pay it, according to the paper.
Image credit: © iStockphoto.com/jabejon
Drivers who use “hands-free” headsets and microphones to talk on their phones while driving will not be in violation of the new ordinance, according to police.
Oh and you should be aware — the new ordinance also covers anyone riding a bicycle, motorcycle, skateboard or any other kind of moving vehicle while texting or talking on a hand-held cell phone. So beware.
This may be inconvenient to some people, and others will claim that it’s just the city looking for new ways to get money for its coffers.
But in truth, this is an ordinance that will help make our streets, highways and roads safer for pedestrians and other motorists. Texting and hand-held cell phone use don’t have a place in our vehicles while we’re driving. Our children, friends and fellow citizens will likely all be safer due to this ordinance. Let’s all welcome it.
So, don’t forget, the rules change Sunday on the streets of Philadelphia.
Be alert. And let’s be more careful out there.