Phoning While Driving Is Curbed in Ohio Town

Associated Press

Drivers who feel the need to talk to someone on their cellular phones better keep both hands on the steering wheel in this Cleveland suburb.

The town that claims to have pioneered the mandatory seat-belt law has extended its traffic safety laws to the use of cell phones.

Mayor John M. Coyne said the issue came to his attention when police determined that an inattentive driver on a cell phone caused a minor accident involving two cars near a recreation center.

The week-old ordinance makes it a minor misdemeanor, punishable by a fine, to use a cell phone while driving unless both hands are on the steering wheel. Exceptions are allowed for an emergency, for using the phone when the transmission is in "park" or if a speakerphone is used.

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