On Tuesday, December 3rd, 2019, Ordinance 5-19 went into effect. This legislation bans the use of cell phones and other electronic wireless communication devices while driving to make Lakewood streets safer for all drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists. The legislation also elevates cell phone-related offenses from secondary to primary, meaning that an officer does not need to identify an accompanying traffic violation in order to issue a ticket. Under the ordinance, an officer may charge a first offender with a minor misdemeanor and issue a $150 fine. The new ordinance substantially strengthens the City’s existing law, which pertains only to texting and does not address the broad range of other phone-related tasks which frequently distract drivers.
Exceptions to the ban include:
- Communicating or navigating using hands-free features built into the vehicle.
- Communicating or using navigation tools on a mounted device.
- Accepting a fare, accepting a call, or making a call using a device’s one-touch capability if the device is mounted.
- Contacting Emergency Services
The Lakewood Police Department will be educating drivers about the new “hands free” law and providing warnings to most drivers for a period of time.
Click here to read the full ordinance.
Click here for more information about distracted driving.
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