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Cottonwood passes ordinance to ban cell phones while driving

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COTTONWOOD – The City of Cottonwood has officially followed other Arizona cities and towns to ban the use of cell phones while driving.

The city ordinance was unanimously passed Tuesday. It updates Cottonwood’s existing code to mirror the one adopted by Yavapai County in October. Right now, the county’s ordinance only encompasses unincorporated areas.

Cottonwood’s ordinance states: “No person shall, except as otherwise provided in this section, use a mobile communication device while operating a motor vehicle upon a street or highway, unless that device is specifically designed or configured to allow hands-free use and is used in that manner while operating a motor vehicle. A law enforcement officer may stop a motor vehicle or motor-driven cycle if the officer has reasonable suspicion to believe a violation of this Section is occurring.”

The ordinance carries a civil traffic violation.

Sedona adopted a ban on cell phone use while driving in 2014.

Former Sedona Police Chief David McGill said officers generally will let those from out of town off with a warning.

“We don’t write them a ticket,” he said. “We leave it up to the officers, most of the time. It’s about education.”

The Town of Jerome is currently in the process of amending its municipal code to address distracted driving.

Lawmakers are still pushing for a statewide ban at the Capitol. Right now, Arizona is one of only three states that doesn’t have a general state-wide statute addressing distracted driving. The current legislation is narrowly tailored to only apply to school bus drivers and teenagers.

City appoints new board members

Cottonwood City Council appointed several new members to various boards Tuesday.

Denise Renard was appointed to the Board of Adjustment. Her term is three years.

Kimberly Bird was appointed to the Parks and Recreation Commission. Her seat expires Dec. 21, 2019.

Terryl Sherman was appointed to the Planning and Zoning Commission. Christopher Dowell and Robert Williams were both reappointed to their seats.

Cottonwood City Council holds regular meetings every first and third Tuesday of the month at 6 p.m. at their Chambers Building, located 826 N. Main St.

For agendas and minutes, visit http://cottonwoodaz.gov/129/Agendas-Minutes. A livestream of the meetings is also available on the Verde Valley TV YouTube channel.

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