Posted: Aug 8, 2012 7:46 PM by Dax VanFossen - KAJ News
Updated: Aug 9, 2012 8:35 AM
COLUMBIA FALLS- The city is the latest to say no to cellphones while driving your car.
On Monday, the city council voted in favor of a citywide ban on the use of handheld electronic devices by drivers.
The new ordinance takes effect Thursday, Sept. 6. And despite the penalty of a fine up to $100 for the first offense and $300 for the second offense. People I spoke to today, say, the new law is a good one.
Resident John Schrier said sometimes, people can not realize what's going on when they're on the phone. "It's great....It'll just start saving lives," he said.
Karen Anderson agreed. "I think it's really a good thing, I mean we had an incident here where the car went into the river, and a lot of people get hurt that way so it's excellent," she said.
One of the biggest motivations behind the recent phone banwas an incident where a man drove his mother's car off of this cliff into the Flathead River.
Over a year ago, the City of Whitefish passed a similar cell phone ban, allowing no texting, and no talking without hands-free devices.
Whitefish Police Chief Bill Dial said there's been a noticeable decrease in the cell phone related traffic accidents. Now it's Columbia Falls' turn.
The new ordinance means that two out of four of the biggest communities in the Flathead Valley now restrict cell phone use in city limits.