Idaho Falls prepares drivers for hands-free device ordinance

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IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - If you are using your cell phone and driving in the city of Idaho Falls, the chance of you getting pulled over just increased.

The Idaho Falls Police Department was out in the area Wednesday to help people be aware of the new ordinance against distracted driving. Idaho Falls City Code Section 5-4-9 does not allow the use of a mobile device while operating a vehicle. IFPD specifically targeted people who were on their phones to give them a warning.

"I think all of us have seen a distracted driver that's forced us to either to swerve to miss him or some of us have actually been in accidents," said Jim Freeman, a member of the city council. "I've heard from a number of people who've had bad accidents due to distracted drivers."

The ordinance was passed in October, but the city has not enforced it, to give people time to adjust.

Starting Jan. 1, IFPD will begin pulling people over and issuing citations for breaking this law.

First violation is $100, second violation is $200 and third violation is a misdemeanor citation.

"Just to increase motorists' safety," said Idaho Falls Police Department Capt. Steve Hunt. "Obviously, distracted driving is a cause of accidents and we just want to reduce accidents and do the best we can to protect the motoring public out there."

The city hopes the operation will give a wake-up call to those who are guilty of using a phone while driving.

"I see it as a danger to everybody on the road," Freeman said. "It's not just the people that are your vehicle or yourself that are affected by this. It's everybody on the road."

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