Loveland considers cell phone driving ban |

Loveland considers cell phone driving ban

LOVELAND, Colorado – A cell phone driving ban failed statewide, but one could be coming to Loveland.

The city council has asked lawyers to draft an ordinance to prohibit talking on a handheld phone while driving.

The state Legislature considered a similar ban last session. But state lawmakers ultimately decided that only young drivers should have a complete cell phone driving ban. Texting while driving was banned for all motorists.

Loveland officials say it could be three to four months before a proposal is drafted. If the ban is approved, Loveland would become the first city in Colorado to ban all handheld cell phone use by drivers.

“I would just prefer to completely outlaw handheld cell phone use by a person driving a motor vehicle,” said councilman Glenn Rousey, who made the proposal.

Rousey told the (Loveland) Reporter-Herald he was disappointed the statewide law won’t ban all handheld phone use by drivers.

The original statewide bill would have required adult drivers to use some kind of handsfree device, such as ear buds or a speaker on their dashboard, to talk while driving unless it’s an emergency.

The bill was backed by Verizon Wireless and the Colorado State Patrol. But lawmakers ultimately decided to ban just texting and e-mailing for most drivers, not all phone use.

Drivers under 18 will be required to use hands-free devices after the bill takes effect later this year.

Last year, 9-year-old Erica Forney was killed in Fort Collins while riding a bike after an SUV drifted into the bike lane. Police believe the driver was talking on a cell phone.

Six states – California, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Utah and Washington – and the District of Columbia ban the use of hand-held cell phones behind the wheel, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Seventeen states and the district restrict or ban cell phone use by new drivers.

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