Serves the Commercial Small Fleet Market of 10 – 50 Vehicles

City May Prohibit All Motorists From Using Cell Phones

June 7, 2006

According to Lawrence Journal-World a national group that studies cell phone usage said that a proposed cell phone ban in Lawrence, Kan. would be tougher than any other cell phone ban in the county.The ban would prohibit the use of both hand-held cell phones and hands-free cell phone devices for all motorists. The ban may have one exception: Motorists could use a cell phone to make an emergency call to police, fire or other agencies.Many cell phone researchers are behind such a ban. Studies done in both Australia and Canada show that motorists talking on cell phones—whether hand-held or hands-free—were four times more likely to get in accidents.A study of the ban in New York—which made national headlines four years ago for becoming the first state to ban motorists from using hand-held cell phones—found that hand-held cell phones used by drivers initially dropped by half. However, the rate had virtually returned to pre-ban rates after a year.In Washington D.C. the rate of hand-held cell phone usage also went down about 50 percent following its ban, but unlike in New York, the rate remained below pre-ban levels. This is due to the city’s aggressive enforcement of the ban; tickets for cell phone violations there represent 8 percent of all moving violations compared with 4 percent in New York. The proposed ordinance lists a maximum fine of $100 for violating the ban, but lists no minimum fine. Any decision by the Traffic Safety Commission must be approved by city commissioners before it is final.
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