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North Royalton: Cell phone, texting ban in effect soon

10:33 AM, Jan 13, 2010   |    comments
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"If one of our officers would see you talking on the phone and it's not a hands-free device, they can pull you over and stop you and issue you a citation," says North Royalton Safety Director Bruce Campbell.

He says the Cleveland suburb is trying to get out in front, to be proactive, in preventing the kinds of accidents that distracted driving can cause.

"We just felt that we did not want to wait until a disaster happened, and then we react to it," Campbell tells WKYC. The City of North Royalton cited accident statistics in the ordinance, which passed city council by a 4-3 vote.

The new law going into effect on Friday also includes a complete ban on texting while driving.

Safety Director Campbell says much of this is aimed at young drivers who talk and text more than others, and cause a disproportionately high number of accidents.

North Royalton residents and people passing through the city generally thought a complete ban on anything other than hands free cell phone use is a good idea.

"Honestly, I agree with it, even though I was on the phone," said Pete Bonanni, who was on his cell phone when he pulled into a parking spot in a North Royalton shopping center. "I think it should be a law everywhere."

Debra Murie got animated when she talked about her support for such a ban on talking on the cell while driving.

"I get so mad at people when they're driving," she explained. "You can tell they're on the phone because they're slowing down at green lights. You know, it's annoying. I'd rather them just stay off their phones. You can always tell when they're on the phone."

Nicky Wallace, who lives in neighboring Broadview Heights, says she'll get used to the new law in North Royalton very quickly.

"Oh, they'll issue you a ticket in Royalton," she said. "We're just going to have to go to the hands-free, like they do in California and all over."

It is likely that, for the first month or so, police will issue warnings to people driving through North Royalton talking on their cell phones. There is no formal grace period but the city was working on making sure proper signage is in place.

WKYC-TV

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