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City of Pocatello News

Posted on: March 5, 2019

Pocatello Police to Begin Issuing Tickets for Hands Free Ordinance Violations

A Pocatello Police officer stops a motorist.

If a Pocatello Police officer sees you with your ear to your phone or texting while driving, it will cost you. 


Starting March 11, officers will begin issuing tickets to violators of the City’s hands free ordinance. Since going into effect on December 12, officers have been issuing warnings to motorists found to be in violation of the code.  


“Up to this point, officers have been using the stops as a chance to educate the public on the new ordinance,” said Lieutenant Eric Anderson. 


Under the ordinance, improperly using a mobile device is punishable as an infraction. Violators will be fined $80 per offense for the first three offenses and a fourth violation in two years is punishable as a misdemeanor. Exceptions are provided for using a device in instances such as while in a “voice-operated or hands free mode,” as a navigational aid, and for emergencies.


According to figures compiled since 2015 by the Pocatello Police Department, officers noted texting or cell phone use in roughly 33 percent of the citations for inattentive driving. 


The ordinance was adopted by the Pocatello City Council at their regular City Council meeting held December 6. 


To view the ordinance, visit bit.ly/2BOtGKA.


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