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Nov. 30, 2009 4:12 pm

Philadelphia Police Department to begin enforcing vehicular cell phone ban Tuesday

Tomorrow is dooms-day for motorists and bicyclists who chose to use cellular phone devices while driving. The Philadelphia police department will begin enforcing legislation passed in April that requires drivers to utilize hands-free devices when making calls and sending text messages, according to a press release issued by Councilman Bill Green’s office this afternoon. Violators […]

Tomorrow is dooms-day for motorists and bicyclists who chose to use cellular phone devices while driving.

The Philadelphia police department will begin enforcing legislation passed in April that requires drivers to utilize hands-free devices when making calls and sending text messages, according to a press release issued by Councilman Bill Green’s office this afternoon.

Violators will be subject to fines between $75 and $300 under the Philadelphia code, not Pennsylvania’s Motor Vehicle Code.

The cell phone legislation, introduced by City Councilmembers Green and Greenlee and Rizzo, was unanimously passed by Council in April, as we reported. The law was signed by Mayor Nutter on April 29.

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Brian James Kirk

Brian James Kirk is a cofounder of Technical.ly, the local technology news network. Previously, Kirk was Web Editor of PlanPhilly, an independent online news resource covering planning and development issues in Philadelphia, and a freelance writer and designer. He resides in South Philadelphia.

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  • http://www.joystiq.com Ben Gilbert

    FANTASTIC. Less people to worry about driving into me if I’m on my bike. At least, ya know, that’s what I’m hoping will be the result.

  • question

    How can they tell if you’re texting or just changing songs? Or looking at a map?

  • tha

    Great. Another scheme to recoup lost revenue just like dui checkpoints. Why dont cops patrol bad neighborhoods instead? Oh thats right…theres no money in that

  • http://philadelphiarealestatevoice.com/ thesomersteam

    I got my blue tooth device the other day ! But still there is no texting and picking up the phone. Will be interesting how strictly it is enforced.

  • Ed

    I have to wonder what stipulations are made in regards to hands-free and dialing. A few of the bills in the PA legislature don’t leave exceptions for hands-free devices. There is also the problem of placing calls. Not every phone what supports Bluetooth or similar devices has voice dialing, which means you still need to handle your phone to make a call, even if you set it down after dialing. The wording on some cell phone laws leaves this area vague, and without seeing the actual text of the law, I can’t be sure exactly what is banned and what loopholes exist. Making people use hands-free headsets and whatnot are great, but if a law basically requires you to pull over, turn the car off, and set outside to place a call, everyone is going to become a criminal.

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