The Detroit City Council has amended an ordinance that would
ban the use of hand-held cell phones within the city limits.
On May 31, the nine-person council voted 8-0 with one abstention
to approve the amendment, which changes the ban from a primary to a secondary
offense. That means drivers would have to be pulled over first for a primary
offense, such as speeding, before they could be ticketed under the cell phone
The original ordinance was approved May 3 by a council vote
of 8-1, which banned motorists from using hand-held cell phones while they’re
driving, with a fine of $100 attached to it.
The measure must now be approved by Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick
before it can go into effect.
The ban does not apply to passengers or stationary vehicles,
and does not prohibit the use of hands-free devices, such as headsets or
Detroit is not the first city to create such an ordinance. New York, Chicago and Washington, DC, all have similar bans in place.
And, the city of Lawrence, KS, is considering a ban of both
hand-held and hands-free cell phones while driving, making it the most
restrictive of such laws to emerge to date.