Sedona begins enforcement on hand held cell phone use while driving

The City of Sedona Engineering Services has recently installed signs informing motorists of the City's ordinance which prohibits the use of hand held cell phone use while driving.

The city code was approved by the Sedona City Council and became effective Aug. 22. Since that time the police department has been issuing verbal warnings to motorists who have been in violation of the new code. The new ordinance states:

"A person shall not drive a motor vehicle while using a portable communications device to engage in a call unless that device is configured to allow hands-free listening and talking, and is uses exclusively in that manner while driving. Texting and typing while operating a motor vehicle are banned."

The new city code is similar to those that have been enacted by various cities in Arizona.

Despite the dangers that texting and cell phone use while driving presents, Arizona remains one of only 4 states that has not prohibited texting by all drivers.

The purpose of the new code is to increase traffic safety and to encourage healthy and safe driving behavior throughout the community.

The ordinance does not apply when a driver is making a call to notify a police or fire department, a hospital or a physician's office, or an ambulance about an emergency situation.

It also does not apply when a person is operating a motor vehicle on private property or when the driver is parked on the roadway in a safe and legal portion of the roadway.

The base fine for violating the ordinance is $100 and increases to $500 if the violator was involved in a motor vehicle crash.

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