September 27, 2013
New Traffic Laws Become Effective October 1; No Hand-Held Cell Phone Use, Seat Belts for All passengers
First, a fully licensed driver will not be permitted to use a handheld cell phone while their vehicle is in motion. The new law also authorizes police to enforce these violations as primary traffic offenses, meaning that officers will be able to stop drivers for the sole offense of using a handheld cell phone while behind the wheel.
It is not against the law to attach and use a hands-free device such as a Bluetooth. But, officers encourage drivers to refrain from using a cell phone while driving so they can concentrate fully on their driving responsibilities. Texting while driving is already a primary offense.
The penalty for the first violation is $83, the second violation penalty is $140 and the fine for the third and subsequent offense is $160.
The other new law will require that every vehicle occupant use either a seat belt or child safety restraint. Anyone over the age of 16 riding in either the front or the back seat will be required to use a seat belt. Residents are also reminded that the number of passengers in a vehicle cannot exceed the number of seat belts in that vehicle, and no more than one person can be buckled in a single seat belt.
For more information, see Frequently Asked Questions.