Michigan city to prohibit holding phone while driving

Published: Feb. 12, 2019 at 7:22 PM EST
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Driving while holding a cellphone soon will be illegal in one southern Michigan city.

The Battle Creek Enquirer reports that a new ordinance goes into effect Friday in Battle Creek, but police don't plan to ticket drivers -- just yet -- for typing, scrolling or talking on phones without the use of hands-free devices.

City officials say enforcement will start in earnest after signs alerting motorists to the ordinance go up later this month. A first offense carries a fine of $100.

Police Chief Jim Blocker says the ordinance is an opportunity to educate the public about the dangers of distracted driving.

Exceptions to the new ordinance include holding a phone while reporting crimes, road hazards and emergencies.

Battle Creek city commissioners approved the ordinance on Feb. 5.