Warning - cellphones while driving

A warning from the Idaho Falls Police Department not to use cellphones while driving ahead of a city ordinance, which bans hand-held devices while driving and will take effect on Jan. 1. On Dec. 19, IFPD issued warnings to drivers about using cellphones for talking or texting.

A bill to ban cities and counties from enacting local ordinances banning use of a handheld cellphone while driving is scheduled for a hearing Thursday.

The bill, proposed by Rep. Chad Christensen, R-Ammon, would override the handful of existing local bans such as the ones in Idaho Falls and Pocatello. A hearing in the House Transportation committee has been set for 1:30 p.m. Thursday, according to the committee agenda posted Wednesday afternoon.

Idaho law bans texting while driving now, although the ban only covers texting, not other uses of a phone, and as a result is little enforced. A proposal to ban using a handheld cellphone while driving statewide was voted down in the state Senate earlier this month.

Reporter Nathan Brown can be reached at 208-542-6757. Follow him on Twitter: @NateBrownNews.

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