Meridian Could Be Next Idaho City to Ban Cell Phone Use Behind the Wheel
Texting while driving is already illegal in the state of Idaho but let's be honest, there's plenty of other reasons you may have your phone in your hand.
Looking down at the caller ID information when you get a phone call. Typing in an address to get directions to your destination. Bringing up the new album from your favorite artist. Those are all valid reasons you may pick-up your phone from your center console. Right now, that's perfectly to do everywhere in the state of Idaho with the exception of Hailey, Ketchum, Pocatello and Idaho Falls. Those four jurisdictions have created ordinances making any use of handheld devices behind the wheel illegal and punishable with infractions costing up to $100.
According to Idaho News, Meridian may be the fifth Idaho city to join the list. With the population of Meridian already increasing the amount of traffic danger on the roads in the city, the council believes that moving forward with the ordinance would help cut down on the amount of distracted driving.
It's not a decision they want to make without public opinion and will talk to Meridian residents over the next few months to see if there's public support for the ordinance.
A bill proposing a handheld phone ban at the state level failed to make it out of the Senate earlier this year. Had it passed it would've punished violators with a fine of $50 for the first offense, $100 for the second and $200 for the third. If things had gone differently, Idaho would've been the 17th state with a handheld phone ban.
Cell phones wouldn't be completely illegal to use in the car if the ordinance moves forward. You can still make calls or use the GPS using handsfree options like bluetooth.