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The original item was published from 2/18/2010 11:40:10 AM to 3/20/2010 12:00:07 AM.

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Dubuque News

Posted on: February 17, 2010

[ARCHIVED] New Ordinance Bans Use of Electronic Communications Devices While Driving

On February 15th, 2010, the Dubuque City Council voted unanimously to pass a new city ordinance banning the use of electronic communications devices while driving a motor vehicle in the City of Dubuque.

An enforcement grace period of 30 days will start on Friday, February 19th, 2010, during which officers will issue written warnings for violations of the ordinance detailed below:


A. Except as provided by subsection C, no person shall drive a motor vehicle on the public streets within the City of Dubuque while using an electronic communications device for the ordinary purposes for which such devices are used.

B. "Electronic communication device" means an electronic device, including but not limited to a wireless telephone, personal digital assistant, or a portable or mobile computer, which requires the operator to manually insert letters or figures, but does not include a global positioning system, a navigation system or emergency notification system that is physically integrated into the motor vehicle, and citizens band radios, citizens band radio hybrids, or other electronic communication devices with a push-to-talk function.

C. "Hands-free” means an electronic communications device that has an internal feature or function, or that is equipped with an attachment or addition, whether or not permanently part of such mobile telephone, by which a user engages in a conversation without the use of either hand, provided, however, this definition shall not preclude the use of either hand to activate, deactivate, or initiate a function of the device.

D. Using an electronic communications device includes but is not limited to the following:

1. Composing, sending, or reading an electronic message;

2. Talking into, dialing or listening on an electronic communications device;

3. Holding an electronic communications device to, or in the immediate proximity of, the person’s ear; or

4. Manipulating an electronic communications device to command or request access to an Internet site

E. Subsection A shall not apply to:

1. Public safety personnel, law enforcement officers, and operators of emergency vehicles when on duty and acting in their official capacities.

2. Persons using a hands-free or voice-activated electronic communications device allowing the driver to talk into and listen to the other party without the use of the driver’s hands.

3. Persons using an electronic communications device for the sole purpose of calling 911 or other emergency telephone numbers to contact public safety forces.

4. Persons using an electronic communications device while maintaining a motor vehicle in a stationary parked position while parked off the traveled portion of the road, and not in gear.

F. Any person who violates subsection A of this section shall be subject to a scheduled fine as follows:

1. Fifty Dollars ($50) if no traffic accident is involved;

2. Two hundred fifty dollars ($250), if the violation resulted in a traffic accident.

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