Delaware closer to banning handheld cell phone use in cars

    Drivers in Delaware could soon be cited for driving while using a handheld cell phone.

    A proposed ban on handheld cell phone for drivers is nearing passage in the General Assembly.  The measured had has been approved by the House and Senate, but the Senate version includes minor changes that should be quickly passed by the House.

    The statewide handheld ban would supersede laws that went into effect at the beginning of the year in Wilmington and Elsmere.  Since implementing the ban on the city level, Wilmington communications director John Rago says police have issued close to 250 citations.  He says the law is in place, “to make sure that the motorists know that they really are in a position to hurt themselves or to hurt other people by being distracted while they’re driving.  We’ve really got to stop this.”

    Rago says enacting the ban statewide removes the mystery about what laws are in effect in what parts of the state.  “You don’t want in a state like Delaware different municipalities enacting different types of laws, it will be difficult for motorists to follow what the laws are.”

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    Under the measure being considered in the General Assembly, the first time penalty for using a handheld cell phone would be $50, subsequent offenses would be between $100 and $200.

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