Archive for Tuesday, October 4, 2005

Cell phone use may soon be curbed

October 4, 2005


Members of the city's Traffic Safety Commission on Monday unanimously agreed to have the city's legal department draft an ordinance to ban drivers from using cell phones in Lawrence.

Monday's action from the advisory board followed the advice of David Woosley, city traffic engineer, to let legal counsel study the issue and return a possible ordinance for consideration to the traffic commission.

While two traffic commissioners indicated they would support a citywide ban, Woosley said traffic commissioners would probably have to wait two to three months before seeing a drafted ordinance. Then they would decide what to recommend to the city commission.

At Monday's meeting, traffic commissioners discussed issues surrounding a ban, including its enforceability and whether local governments or the state should first consider the issue.

Some traffic commissioners said as cell phone use increased, it made drivers more prone to accidents around the city, particularly in a university town.

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"For that reason, I think it's something that should be considered," said Traffic Commissioner Carol Bowen. "However, if it's not enforceable, I don't know if we could do it."

Traffic Commissioner Robert Hagen said he thought the state Legislature should first consider the possible ban and if they refused it, then it would be more in the hands of local governments.

"I disagree with you," said Commissioner Caleb Morse. "I think Lawrence has a perfect right to break ground where we think we need to break ground."

"I'd like to see our legal counsel get a shot at this because I sanction it myself," said Commissioner Richard Heckler.

Heckler and Morse were the only two who clearly indicated they would support a ban. The request for a draft of an ordinance passed unanimously with a voice vote.

Before the vote, Bob Lewis, who originally requested the cell phone ban, addressed traffic commissioners and urged them to send an ordinance to city commissioners that at least stopped "novice" drivers from using cell phones.

"A lot of people are paying more attention to their conversations than their driving," said David Beust, of Lawrence, who also supports a ban.


sharron5rs 12 years, 5 months ago

I hope if they send an ordinance about "novice"drivers not using cell phones, they enclude a part of it restricting passengers from talking to the driver...... I've seen just as many problems from drivers looking at their passengers talking away, instead of watching traffic and the road around them.

my2cents 12 years, 5 months ago

Good thought in theory but bad in the real life of today.

Define novice? Younger than 18, 21, or 25? I know people that are 30+ and can't drive that well.

Some laws are good, others are bad, and this one well wouldn't end up on the tipping the scales to good.

And for those that don't know, Kansas has regulations regarding cell phone use in certain vehicles.

kessman 12 years, 5 months ago

little tine you see a cop see what it is doing.probably on cell phone

Nikki May 12 years, 5 months ago

For real, I've seen police officers on their cell phones too.
I think some people drive worse because of their phones. However, I think some people drive poorly regardless of their phones. I am very much against a cell phone ban. I don't think it will help the bad drivers. I use mine while driving to coordinate who needs to be where and how they are getting there if there is a change in plans for my kids.

Of course, you do have to use common sense. For example, I won't use the phone in dangerous conditions that need extra attention such as icy roads.

average 12 years, 5 months ago

However, my wifi-finder, GPS, ham radio, MP3 player, etc are legit. Shrug.

KsTwister 12 years, 5 months ago

Just another piddly item to take your mind off of what your city government is NOT doing for you--fixing sewers,roads,budget,infrastructure---not things. I want to stop the burglaries more than cell phone use right now.CLUELESS all of them.

lunacydetector 12 years, 5 months ago

how about banning bike riders who ride at night. they're a helluva lot more dangerous. oops that would be infringing on some of the traffic commission people's rights.

how about banning bicycle riders all together. they'd all have to ride the bus so the busses would finally have passengers. it would be for their own good and their safety. they NEVER share the road anyway!

lunacydetector 12 years, 5 months ago

they're going to ban cell phone use while driving. they're going to track people illegally using their cell phones by looking at differences in signals between cell towers. it will tie into the 911 phone system upgrade that tracks cell phones.

fines will be issued by mail. you will have to prove you were not driving while using the cell phone before pleading innocent or you can just pay the $50 fine. solitary drivers will be pulled over if they are seen moving their mouths while driving. no singing, no talking to your dog, no talking to yourself for that matter will be seen as a probable cause for being pulled over. search and seizure laws will apply. the police will be receiving special signal attraction equipment to see if anyone is using their cell phones while driving in conjunction with the cross tower referencing system.

all a work of fiction, i promise.

retina 12 years, 5 months ago

You mean to tell me that not one of you is going to talk about how many times you've seen someone make a stupid, dangerous maneuver while on their cell phone? I I use a cell for business and I usually pull over to the nearest parking lot to make the call or tell the caller to hold on one second while I pull over. Are we so damn busy that driving while having a conversation is a necessity? Sad!

neopolss 12 years, 5 months ago

I guess the city commission didn't take any of the wonderful ideas we had on this proposal when the question was in the "on the street" section.

City commission, listen up. This ban is NOT being supported by the people. This is the brainchild of very few - we will not have them dictating the law for all of us.

retina, some people drive very well with a cell phone. Some people who drive poorly with a cell phone, drive poorly without one. Shall we include CB radios in this ban now? Surely a cop talking on his radio would be a distraction from his driving, yet I see it all the time.

JHawker 12 years, 5 months ago

Several positions apply for me in this argument. I personally dont want cell phones to be banned, however I do think it''d be ridiculous to ban cell phones for "novice'' drivers - if they''re gonna make a ban.. do it for everyone - cause people of all ages can suck at driving. However - do none of you realize that talking on cell phones is already banned in several countries such as the Netherlands? although in such cases, its so that drivers can have both hands on the wheel - handless cell phones are allowed. we claim to be so open-minded in lawrence, kansas - while when something such as this is introduced we''re not open minded at all!

Sigmund 12 years, 5 months ago

I for one welcome our new cigarette and cell phone banning overlords and plan on leaving my basement flooded with raw sewage riding my recumbent bicycle to the closest roundabout and firing up a doobie as a sign of my submission to their superior intellect!

compmd 12 years, 5 months ago

For those of you who have never feared for your life because some stupid sorostitute has been blabbing away on the phone in her car, you have no room to make grandiose statements about how wrong any cell phone ban would be. Have you ever been hit by someone on a cell phone? Its fun to watch them get out of the car WITHOUT stopping their conversation. Makes me miss my badge.

Instead of complaining about all this, maybe you should look at places where this works. Try going to the library and reading the Chicago Tribune. There is some great stuff in there about the Chicago cell phone ban. Headsets and speakerphones are ok. You can get pulled over for having a phone against your head, and its a $50 ticket. If you cause an accident because you were on the phone, $250 ticket.

Think and research before you complain.

ive_got_my_ascot_n_my_dickie 12 years, 5 months ago

As a motorcyclist, I must say that we needed a cell phone ban a long time ago. People on cell phones rarely use turns signals or pay attention to other vehicles on the road. If you need to make a call, pull over.

born1980 12 years, 5 months ago

This is why I moved out of Lawrence after KU. These "progressives" take marginal issues and make them front and center to deflect talk of what really plagues the future of Lawrence. If they are true progressives they would be concerned about housing costs, especially when you compare it to other Kansas cities. Lawrence has laughed at Topeka for some time, but eventually people will start to say enough is enough. 150,000 bought me a 4 bedroom, 3 bath house in Topeka and an escape from all this nonsense.

staff04 12 years, 5 months ago

Wow. I must say I am really surprised at everyone's reaction to this proposal. I know traffic in Lawrence isn't as bad as it is where I live (DC), but the ban on handheld phones here has been useless. It DOES get enforced ($100 fine) often, but here's the problem:

It isn't holding the phone to our ears that causes the problem, its the conversation. KU was working on a study (NTSB funded, I believe) of this when I was in the psych program there a few years ago, and they discovered that even people using hands-free setups are so distracted by the conversation that it severely limits their ability to perform other tasks simultaneously. The results showed that same-subject performance rates on the tasks were dramatically lower when the conversation was playing.

I graduated before they finished the study, but the generally accepted idea was that while most of the time driving is relatively easy to do while talking to someone, because the person on the other end of the line doesn't know when traffic is getting heavy or when they need to shut up so you can focus, it causes problems.

So, I guess I would support a ban, but only if it also banned handfree sets (and yes, it is pretty easy to tell when someone is using one). There's my two cents.

Lowell Holmes 12 years, 5 months ago

2 years ago before my wife became my ex, she was rear ended by someone talking on their cell phone doing "business". He was 4 cars back and hit so hard it was a chain reaction. My wife was the first car waiting at a crosswalk for some grade school kids to cross when it happened. She had just picked up our daughter. This could have been much worse than it was. As it was 2 of the five cars were damaged enough to render them undrivable, three poeple were taken to the hospital, all because someone thought their "business" was more important than driving safely. Now having said all that, I dont believe a ban will be enforcable enough to create a deterant to cell phone use while driving. I also believe there are a lot of things that distract drivers just as much as cell phone use. And there are already laws on the books all over including here in Lawrence called inattentive driving, I know because I was cited for that a long time before cell phones existed. So just jack up the fine for that and dont waste more time on an unenforcable ban.

staff04 12 years, 5 months ago

I should have prefaced my earlier support of a ban on cell use while driving: it should not be any higher a priority than any other traffic violations. I realized that I left myself open for the obvious "well, if you'd rather arrest people for talking on their phones than focus on real crime" argument, so I thought I'd nip it. OF COURSE it shouldn't come at the expense of being able to respond quickly to more serious crime.

grimpeur 12 years, 5 months ago

Busy my butt. Most of the idiots on cells are pretending to be busy by they're really just giving constant, needless updates on their location or asking, "2% or skim?" Busy indeed, having subscribed every sports ticker update they can just so their phone will ring every couple of minutes. Busy telling someone that they've just left the store, and are on the way home. Busy telling someone OMIGOD that was just the best party and you won't BELIEVE how hot this one girl was.

Face it, most of the calls being made are not business or problem-solving, and none are worth the danger caused by their users. Instead, the point of having a cell appears to use the cell phone. I can't even walk down the hall near my office without being crashed into by some schmuck with his/her head buried in a text message session. I've stopped getting out of the way of these idiots and started stiff-arming them. Problem is, on the road, these idiots are careening around in 4,000-lb vehicles, but they're just as oblivious. Just another example of the lack of courtesy and judgment that the modern american driver displays.

BTW, the KU study also found the distraction was comparable to a 0.1% blood alcohol content. Yep, that's probably not a problem, either.

lunacydetector 12 years, 5 months ago

according to statistics, 1 out of 8 bicycle riders suffers a head injury.

in 2003, There were 85 million bicycle riders in the US

More than 600 bicyclists die in the US every year

About 540,000 bicyclists visit emergency rooms with injuries every year. Of those, about 67,000 have head injuries.

Bicycle crashes and injuries are under reported, since the majority are not serious enough for emergency room visits.

for the love of God PLEASE ban bicycle riders. they NEVER share the road! it will be for their own good. their health and safety is a must.

staff04 12 years, 5 months ago

Ban them in bars, eh? I know some restaurants now will ask you to turn off your cell phone or silence it while you are in their dining room. How about mandatory cell phone courtesy courses?

angelsunwall 12 years, 5 months ago

I know that there are two arguments for every proposal, but safety should come first. My sister has been in two fender benders because she was on her cell phone and got distracted. I have permanent back damage from a car accident when I was rear ended by a woman on her cell phone in her mini van with three kids inside! I do believe that cell phones are great in emergencies or even when you are in the grocery store and want to call home to see if you need milk. They can be used responsibly. As careful as you can try to be you are still distracted and all it takes is just a second for your life to change.

gccs14r 12 years, 5 months ago

"Think about your life in the early 90s and back in the 80s, before you had email, a PC, reality TV, an MP3 player, and your cell phone. Guess what? You made it through this life just fine."

I made only a tenth as much and had to have roommates to make expenses. My cell phone is a requirement for employment.

If you're going to be a Luddite, give up your ATM card.

foolery 12 years, 5 months ago

Personally, I think cell phone usage is the least of our problems... Who sets the priorities anyway???

avhjmlk 12 years, 5 months ago

Ever seen anyone with a little TV screen in their dashboard? Let's address something COMPLETELY worthless before we hit up cell phones. I would love to see how they're going to inform people about this if they ever put it into force...

jayhawk16 12 years, 5 months ago

This is the dumbest ban I've ever heard of. I walk my children to school every morning and the worst drivers are the ones reaching into back seat for something. What is so important in the back seat that it can't wait until you stop. I don't see as many problems with cell phones as I do with some guy so busy oggling me that he forgets to stop at the cross walk for us to walk acrossed. Theres always the lovely young lady in her SUV that is going ten miles an hour over the speed limit but absolutely has to find that lipstick in her purse. I see these things every day. Lawrence please ban the back seat reach, oggling, and the lipstick search.

hottruckinmama 12 years, 5 months ago

i've found most people who raise h*ll about people and cell phones are people who are either to old fashion to get one or to poor to afford one. personally i think they ought to ban stupid bike riders. especiallly the ones who like to ride down the middle of the damn highway and just dare you to hit them.

mseybold 12 years, 5 months ago

offtotheright... You know there IS a pothole hotline. Why not dial it up on your cell phone while swerving to miss the potholes

"Report potholes to the Pothole Reporting Hotline 832-3456"

staff04 12 years, 5 months ago

Somewhat off topic here, but a testament to the worthless, nonessential use of cell phones in cars:

I used to work across the street from the Sprint Headquarters in OP. Everyday, at 5 o'clock, there would be a stream of cars turning out of the compound, and I kid you not, at least 19 out of every 20 was on their phone. Why do sensible people do such senseless things. "Honey, I'm on my way home." Great. Weren't you just in the office 3 minutes ago? Could you not have made the call from there? Does he/she not know that you get off of work at 5? Wouldn't it make more sense to call if you were going to be late, otherwise he/she wouldn't expect any departure from the norm?

See, that didn't have any real importance to the topic at hand, but jeezus people, why do we do this? Have we become that senseless as a society????

Harry_Manback 12 years, 5 months ago

For the person who was talking about life without cell phones, e-mails and PCs. I don't remember that life, and many other young people under the age of 25 don't either. I have been driving for over 5 years, and I have had a cell phone for that long as well. Technology has changed, and it's not going back to the way it was before. I don't know anyone under 25 with a home phone, or anyone without a cell phone for that matter. Cell phones are a part of life, and are necessary for most young people. With 5+ years of cell phone and driving under my belt, I think I can handle it.

glockenspiel 12 years, 5 months ago

I've been in two accidents, neither them involved the use of a cell phone (I wasn't driving either time either).

And all accidents listed above were not "caused" by some one using their cell phone. They were caused by some one running their car into something else.

I would say 50% of the time I see the police in their car, they are speaking on a cell phone.

I jab on my cell phone in my car all the time. I drive a stick. I still use my turn signal. I have a perfect driving record.

But what do we morons know? Let's see how Mr. Franklin feels about the issue:

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." -Benjamin Franklin

hammysammy 12 years, 5 months ago

What about the people from other cities who don't know about the law, that are just passing through? I get enough of that working in a restaurant here, people from other cities want to know where the smoking section is, or try to light up at the bar. How are they supposed to know the local laws? It is unenforceable.

tir 12 years, 5 months ago

I was almost hit yesterday by a driver with a cell phone stuck to her ear, so yeah, I think using a cell while driving is a dangerous practice and I wish it were banned. But how will a ban such as this be enforced? Are the police going to set "phone traps" like they set speed traps, hiding on side streets with video cameras and pouncing on whoever drives by using a cell phone? Or will they ticket people for moving cell phone use if they pull them over for some other reason, like they do for seat belt infractions?

NorthLawrenceDude 12 years, 5 months ago

I need my phone for business. To confirm my next appt, or to reschedule if I am running behind. I don't have time to pull over. If I did, I would not need a cell phone! The basic thing is...I DON'T WANT THE CITY INFRINGING ON MORE OF MY RIGHTS. This city will do anything to make national news. Take the pot smoking idea a few weeks ago, and last years smoking ban is STILL making news. Do you all remember when Kathleen Sebelius first got Governor? Her cell phone rang while she was meeting the PRESIDENT. lol Ask her about a ban! It made national headlines!

Richard Heckler 12 years, 5 months ago

Nothing has been banned as yet. Last time the subject appeared in this paper it seemed to be a 50-50 split.

I'll trade a cell phone ban for the patriot's act any day.

Bill Smith 12 years, 5 months ago

I don't disagree with a city ordinance to ban cell phone use while driving. However, there should be an exception for those who use handsfree devices. I am not sure how the city will enforce such a ban. Every time a see the Lawrence Police driving, they are talking on a cell phone - and they don't use hands free devices! What's up with that?

Adrienne Sanders 12 years, 5 months ago

How about, instead of banning something, mandating some common sense?? Use the cell phone if you need to, but don't mess around with it unnecessarily. It's that simple, people.

pylon25 12 years, 5 months ago

Cell phone usage does not cause accidents, dumba$$ drivers who dont pay attention cause accidents. Smoking, eating, talking to passengers, face it, people who cant drive cant drive. I talk on my phone, eat, listen to the radio, etc while driving and have never been in an accident. Some people just cant multitask. Take away the phones and something else will distract them.

grimpeur 12 years, 5 months ago

North Lawrence needs a phone for biz, and is too busy to pull over.

But not to busy to spend time posting here? Oh, man, that's rich...

lunacydetector 12 years, 5 months ago

here's a bumper sticker i thought up.........

you can have my cell phone- when you pry it from my cold dead fingers's another:

if we outlaw cell phones, only outlaws will have cell phones

....and another:

cell phones don't kill people, people kill people

doc1 12 years, 5 months ago

Even the Cops think its a stupid idea. Just like the smoking ban they wouldn't want to enforce it. Its not worth their time. With maybe the exception of the evening shift. Those officers are almost always the rookies and they feel they have to write for everything. I.E. a burnt out headlight.

neopolss 12 years, 5 months ago

Think and research before you complain. - compmd

Hands-free sets have shown to be just as much of a problem as talking on the cell phone. It's not really a solution except that you percieve it to be in your mind. The data speaks otherwise.

Did you ever think about how this is going to be enforced? Or that we are wasting tax payer dollars to pay police to stalk smokers and cell phone talkers, instead of vehicle break-ins and monitoring school zones?

It would probably make more sense to add a distraction violation in the case of an accident - there would be an extra fine attached. That in itself could be a deterant for many casual talkers. Or perhaps using the existing ordinances for driving erratically, etc. based on a case by case basis would be more applicable.

But then again what do I know? I should research before I complain. So please, research in hand, can you enlighten me on how this ordinance will solve all of our problems?

And we were complaining about marijuana violations clogging our court system ...

b_asinbeer 12 years, 5 months ago

I'm all for the ban. One reason is that way too many cops are using their cell phones while driving. So, what are they supposed to do? Listen to the radio for an impending emergency or talk to one of their poker buddies on how much they lost last night?

Then again, is the ban going to be just cell phones, or their respective head sets, too? If it doesn't include headsets, then what's the point? People will still be distracted by talking rather than driving.

For those who say cell phones don't cause accidents, studies have shown that cell phones cause 4 times as many accidents as those who don't use one while driving, regardless of the cell phone being hand-held or being used by a headset.

Have a great day!

"Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job." 9/2/2005

glockenspiel 12 years, 5 months ago

Really, what needs to be done is to teach manners in school and start a public campaign about having manners. Driving with a cell phone doesn't bother me. People using a phone in a restaurant does.

It takes common sense to realize that talking on a cell phone in certain places is rude. I really enjoyed listening to some one use a Nextel walky talky at First Watch at 7 am.

Laws only piss people off. What we need is encouragement to make wiser choices and allow us to make our own decisions.

pylon25 12 years, 5 months ago

Statistics can be manipulated to show whatever you want them to show. I can probobly find some study that shows that cell phone usage contributes directly to communism. The people claiming "I almost got hit by a person on their cell phone", i've almost been hit by people NOT on cell phones. If your halfway intelligent you can do more than one task at a time.

born1980 12 years, 5 months ago

Topeka is far from perfect, but they are finally capitalizing on Lawrence's skyrocketing housing costs and backwards "progressive" government. Best of all, I can smoke a cigar where I want, talk on my cell phone when and where I want, and homebuilders can work whenever they want, not threatened with the possibility of the government telling them what time of the day they are allowed to work. It was also rated one of the top 10 safest places to drive in the nation, so cell phones aren't doing that much damage here.

Staci Dark Simpson 12 years, 5 months ago

I am so sick of bans!!! Of all the wrecks we have been in none have been caused by cell phones. Let me see, there was the elderly gentlemen in an RV that caused a 6 car pile up on a bridge, the sun and a dumb@#$ in walmart parking lot. Nobody on a cell phone. What about the cops that use their laptops while they are driving. They also use radios, isn't that similar to a phone? Once again another reason to take my business elsewhere. I will run errands in KC where I can use my phone, eat and drink outside of Lawrence so friends can smoke, and live in another town so I can tie my dog out for just a few hours a day.

Steve Jacob 12 years, 5 months ago

People in Lawrence complain about cell phones and smoking. Read the KC Star, all they talk about is the very high murder rate this year. I like it here better.

Sigmund 12 years, 5 months ago

After smoking a doobie at the roundabout where I watched several drivers smoking in their cars narrowly miss hitting other cars, not to mention the roundabout itself, I returned to my sewage filled basement. Smoking in your car is a distraction to the driver and, as others have mentioned, cell phone use in bars and restaurants is annoying. Therefore I urge the our Overlords to ban smoking in cars and talking on cell phones in restaurants as well. Let's have no halfway measures and go for the trifecta!

born1980 12 years, 5 months ago

dude, swirley...Phish sucks and Garcia's dead

bankboy119 12 years, 5 months ago

Live in a decent neighborhood and it doesn't matter about the high murder rate there....that's what I do. When I was in Lawrence there was some one murdered a block from my house (Holcom Park) and then again just about 1/2 mile away behind Runza. So Lawrence has murders too.

Richard Heckler 12 years, 5 months ago

I know of no one who has not had more than close encounter as a result of a phone talking driver. Then there are those who sit stopped in a shopping mall lot,stop sign or traffic light totally unaware that it's time to go. Too many drivers cannot do more than one thing at a time and they are not all teen-agers not by a long shot.

What is a novice driver? Whatever the definition there seem to be plenty behind the wheel and phone talking.,1367,44816,00.html 41.A3695.html

Harry_Manback 12 years, 5 months ago

This is ridiculous! What happens if there's an emergency with a friend or family member and they're trying to call you, but you're driving. Should you just not answer? There will still be crappy drivers. There were before cell phone were introduced, and there will be even if they're banned. When you drive you take a risk because of the other drivers, and banning cell phone won't stop this. I'm a liberal, but this is going way too far.

I agree with the person who said bike riders are the real danger. Never have I been in a town that allows them to break laws like Lawrence. If a bike rides in the street, it must obey the laws of the road, like cars. However, very few bike riders here stop at stop signs, signal, and go below the posted speed limit. Bike riders pose more of a threat to me than cell phones!

bangaranggerg 12 years, 5 months ago

traffic safety commission, what the heck is that? who is on that board and who appointed them- this doesn't have a chance of working. Doesn't this city have anything better to do- How about attracting a few businesses and jobs to our city, let's concentrate efforts on things that aren't complely dumb$hit.

blueblood 12 years, 5 months ago

what a waste of time and effort. as if the police need another trivial offense for people to call in and complain about. contrary to popular belief in Lawrence, the police aren't out to give tickets for every little infraction. most cops would probably prefer having time to do follow-up on real crimes, such as the rapes and robberies that they have to investigate. instead, people with no lives and a desire to rule others' lives constantly call in b/c their neighbor parks their car in the grass, or their neighbor's dog barks, or, stop the presses, someone's driving around with an expired tag. and guess what, when people call in to complain about these pointless things and request to be contacted by an officer, an officer actually has to do it. and these people frequently ask to be called by the officer b/c they don't want their neighbors to see the cops pull up, b/c then they would know how nosy and trivial they really are. cops don't want a cell phone ban b/c they have to use them on the job too and don't want to be hypocrites. and on another note it was the lovable fire department that pushed for the smoking ban and are the ones that are technically in charge of enforcing it, so why don't you whiners start blaming them, or you could just continue to blame the cops for something else they have no control over. after all, this is lawrence

lsrfox 12 years, 5 months ago

All of the officers I have spoken to are vehemently against this proposed ordinance as it impractical to enforce. Besides, if it is a secondary infraction, there are already laws on the books to enforce the use of cell phones if it proved to be a contributing factor in the person's driving and/or accident.

Look at Standard Traffic Ordinance Sec. 104. Inattentive Driving. Every driver whose vehicle, because of his or her driving error or negligent inattention, collides with another vehicle, a person or fixed object, shall be guilty of inattentive driving and in violation of this section.


Additions to the Standard Traffic Ordinance incorporated in Section 17-101 of this Article shall be as follows:

(A) Careless Driving. No person shall operate or halt any vehicle in such a manner as to indicate a careless or heedless disregard for the rights or the safety of others, or in such a manner as to endanger or be likely to endanger, any person or property. (B) Any person found, upon conviction, to have violated any provision of this Section shall be subject to the general penalties provided in Article 20 of the Standard Traffic Ordinance as incorporated by reference into this Code by Section 17-101 of this Article. (Ord. 5470; Code 1983, 17-107; Ord. 6936)

Why create another law when there are already laws on the books to enforce. Redundacy, our local government..

missmagoo 12 years, 5 months ago


I just saw a police officer on his cell phone on my way home. But, I'm sure the ban would not include them.

This is a ridiculous infringement on our rights. I am appalled that this was unanimous. What about people who need their cell phones for emergencies...someone who left their children home and they call while you were on the road? A doctor on call, a business owner, etc.

I can't wait for the next election so we can vote off whoever is making these STUPID DECISIONS

lunacydetector 12 years, 5 months ago

it does not matter how much we complain about our commission. because this matter was brought up means the commission has already decided the matter. it has happened in the past with every other controversial issue.

their minds are made up. cell phone useage while driving will be banned, and businesses be damned.

better get used to it, regardless of how much public outcry comes forward. it's their way of being "open minded."

Calliope877 12 years, 5 months ago

I personally never use my cell phone while I'm driving because it makes me nervous, but I can see why this ban makes some people angry. I can also see, in a way, why they would create such a ban. I remember not long ago there was a woman killed in a car accident because she ran a stop sign at the Baldwin intersection of hwy 59. She was talking to a friend on her cell phone and making plans to go to a party later that night. Her car was ripped in half by a semi-truck. If I remember correctly, there was nothing on her record that made her a bad driver, but she was obviously easily distracted. I think talking on a cell phone CAN be a distraction for alot of drivers (I nearly got broadsided by an idiot talking on her cell phone the other day), but I don't think it's right to punish those people who CAN focus on their driving and talk at the same time. I don't think police would be able to tell if someone had a hands-off unit, would they? I mean, there's a lot of people out there who sing in their cars...what are the police going to do? Pull over everyone who talks to themselves or sings to the radio because they suspect that person has a hands-off cell phone? If that's the case, I'm going to be in trouble because I sing to the radio and think out loud in my car all the time....yes, I'm not ashamed to admit it...:)

rousseau108 12 years, 5 months ago

hey i've seen our lovely mayor riding his bike on the sidewalk downtown. they should really make a rule against tht b/c he could hit some person walking out of one of our unique stores. oh wait, there is a law against it, but i guess our mayor can help pass local laws that he doesn't have to enforce. if he smokes pot, why should he obey traffic laws?

Richard Heckler 12 years, 5 months ago

Perhaps it would have been better to have legal opinions/options before asking an advisory commission to render a decision on this matter. There is a lot a material out there to support this idea. Accidents and dead people for instance.

How many good cell phone drivers want to be broadsided by a distracted bad cell phone driver and end up dead or disabled for life? Would cell phone use be used in a lawsuit?

Not only that it's now up to the city commission. Most all advisory board matters must be approved by the city commission.

Let's face it holding/dialing a cell phone is a bit more distracting than singing, listening to music/radio etc. etc.

Charles L. Bloss, Jr. 12 years, 5 months ago

First, to lunacy detector: totally awesome !!!! This type of thing is why we have a second amendment! I never heard of a traffic comissioner? what is a traffic comissioner, what do they do, besides this idiotic idea? I am not a libertarian, but I think there is too much government! This idea of banning cell phones while driving seems totally idiotic to me, yet I support the smoking ban. What is happening to me? Am I losing my mind? No, I am not. Breathing other peoples smoke can kill me, for sure! People driving while talking on cell phones, can also kill me, but the chance of it is much, much less. There comes a time when the government has overstepped their bounds, they are the ones who have lost their minds. This proposal proves it. I am so glad I don't live in Lawrence. The county commissioners seem to have much more common sense, and they actually listen to their constituents! One reason is Craig Weinaug, the county's administrator. I have spoken with him a number of times. He is sharp on everything I asked him. What the city needs is to ask the county if they can borrow him for a few months. God knows what will happen to us while he is gone, lol. He has a lot of common sense, and I doubt he would support something as stupid as this proposal. For one thing, it is a total invasion of privacy. What will they not ban, seems as if they are on a roll. Oh, and the other day I had my first encounter with the new roundabout on Clinton Parkway. That is another story. It is as ridiculous as the proposed ban on talking on your cell phone in a car. Thank you, Lynn

Sigmund 12 years, 5 months ago

How many good cell phone drivers have been broadsided by a bad cell phone drivers? Thousands, hundreds, tens, even one? As this is very very very unlikely to happen, I don't think we need a new ban. As has been noted above cell phone users as well as non-cell phone users who are driving inattentively or carelessly are already subject to being ticketed. Lets not ticket otherwise good attentive careful drivers for using cell phones by some overbroad ban when we already have laws and statutes necessary to deal with the problem.

gccs14r 12 years, 5 months ago

I'll take a cell phone ban over a Wal-Mart any day.

Richard Heckler 12 years, 5 months ago

If someone gets into an accident, while using their cell phone, THEY DESERVE IT!

What if the accident involves other human beings?

Calliope877 12 years, 5 months ago


How can you say that if someone gets into an accident while using their cell phone deserved it? THAT statement is, in my opinion, ABSURD!!!!

The fact that so many people object to this ban is proof that you're all SLAVES to this technology! Yeah, I have a cell phone like everybody else, and YEAH I use it, but there's a responsibility that comes with the technology. And there's obviously people abusing this technology because they're DUMBASSES and can't focus on thier driving while they're talking.

Oh GOD FORBID you actually have to plan ahead and communicate with your co-worker, spouse, child, or friend BEFORE you get into your car! What a tragedy! The world isn't going to end just because you can't use your fashionable little flip-phone in your car while you're driving in rush hour traffic...jeez...

doc1 12 years, 5 months ago

I'll get you my pretty, and your little dog too!

ryanjasondesch 12 years, 5 months ago

people who trash liberals are garbage, people who trash conservatives are garbage.
Too bad neither democrats or republicans live up to either name. Anyone who can't tell the difference has no business posting here.
I'll use my cell phone when I damn well when I please, in a estaurant, in a car, in a train, on a plane, when changing lanes, when it seems lame. But never, but never, never will I use or not use ANYTHING, because I'm told, never, never, even when I'm old, I make my own choice whether consequence sanctioned or not, I'll be damned before I stop. God gave me cell phone and pot, so both shall be consumed before I rot. And through the while I shall erstwhile, fight, I've got nothing else, elst what I've got.

redneck 12 years, 5 months ago

That's the ticket, forget about people smoking pot and nail them dang cell phone abusers!!! Them cell phone abusers are going to be the downfall of society!!! LOL I know, lets outlaw STUPIDITY!!!

memoirs_of_a_sleepwalker 12 years, 5 months ago

Those of you 30+, Think about your life in the early 90s and back in the 80s, before you had email, a PC, reality TV, an MP3 player, and your cell phone. Guess what? You made it through this life just fine. You were a real person back then, who worked at a job, not from your car, and who carried on real-life relationships with people around you. You were not mired in static and mindless distractions. Now you cry because you can't do "business" on the phone while driving?! What?! Looking at this set of complainers shows what a truly sad existence we "work" and "live" in . . . you're all shadows flckering against a wall of nothingness . . .

Regress. It would be good for you. Ban cell phones, ban this computer that takes us away from our significant others, friends and family, ban reality TV, ban it all. Bring back our lives. Care. Don't care about your cell phone, you hollow men.

Kevin Randell 12 years, 5 months ago

Ok... memoirs_of_a_sleepwalker,

That was pretty deep. But I do see your point. I have wasted about 15+ minutes of my time reading complaint after complaint about this issue. There's an old saying....There are two types of people in this world. Those who complain, and those who do something. I encourage anyone of you (including myself) That next election do what it takes to put yourself in for a spot on the commision. That way, you will have a say on what is banned and what is not.

I agree, these are petty issues and yes the police should have the opportunity to go work on other more important crimes. But just like I heard an officer once tell a friend of mine when he was getting ticket for speeding. He told the officer "Don't you have anything else better to do? There are people getting raped, and robbed and you're writing me a stupid ticket!" The officer looked at him and said "yes I do, but if you were not speeding then I could have been at the scene of one of those other crimes, but instead I had to be here writing you this ticket."

Like I said, if this ban is so unfair, then do something about it. I loved my time in Lawrence, it's a great place to live. But it's only as great as the effort YOU the citizens make of it. Things wont change until you either vote the person you want in or do something other than gripe.

l_eustacy 12 years, 5 months ago

It was a Saturday morning and as I drove South on McDonald Drive, A North-facing LPD car did a U-turn from the opposite shoulder while using his cell phone. No turn signal or emergency lights. We both traveled South to 23rd. He made two lane changes w/o signaling. Was I watching him? Of course, I was more aware of him since he was a LPD officer. I turned into Hastings to switch videos, but they didn't open for another 45 min. So I decided to do some more shoppin on 23rd in the mean time. I pulled out onto 23rd and he pulled me over and accused me of cutting through a parking lot. Had I received a ticket, I would have filed a complaint for his violations and also his stupid accusation.

Dear Ron Olin, let me know if you want to know who/when it was. I'm still in awe of what I saw. I'm fine if you get my email address from LJWorld.

terri 12 years, 5 months ago

Having a cellphone ban is absurd. I use my cell phone while driving to coordinate my children's schedule or to touch base with my husband. I have yet to have an accident. In fact I haven't gotten into an accident for the last 20 years...ditto for traffic violations. If this ban passes, then I propose we also ban eating while driving, talking to passenges, banning passengers since they might be a distraction, listening to the radio since your mind isn't 100% focused on driving etc. Also ban all billboards or signs on the road since this is a distraction and might cause me to have an accident. I hope I made my point...The ban is ABSURD!

b_asinbeer 12 years, 5 months ago

Ban people who say "banning cellphone use while driving is absurd."

I don't want to get in a wreck or die because of your careless driving that was caused by you talking on your precious phone.

Think of it like the Kansas Board of Education does...You can't believe in both driving and talking on the cell phone at the same time. It's one or the other.

bearded_gnome 12 years, 5 months ago

lunacydetector: all the tech necessary for your "joke" condition already is available. big brother really can watch you on your cell phone!

if the city really wants to ban cell phone driving, it should really go the big brother route and install cell phone jamming units at the major entrances to our fair city, six or eight; then, in the dead zone, (forgive the pun) the city could put up a sweet little sign proclaiming the ban.

bearded_gnome 12 years, 5 months ago

ban, eggs, sausage, and ban ...

ban, ban, ban, ban, ban, ban, baked beans and ban.

blueharley you are right..."bloody Bikings!" [that should read "Vikings", if I backspace my computer kills internet exploder or maybe it is the other way around}

Ryanjasondesh, damned good Dr. Seuss, LOL! I would not ban the cell phone users all; I would not could not should not ban them short and tall!
cell phones in your hands, cell phones in your bands, cell phones in the land!

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