SHAKER HEIGHTS -- Drivers in Shaker Heights are being reminded that come May 26, talking on a hand-held cellphone while driving will lead to a traffic violation ticket.

The city's hand-held cell phone ban was enacted on March 26. Since then, violators have been given warnings. Beginning next week, the warnings will be replaced by tickets.

The City of Shaker Heights web site states the penalty of the ban as follows:

The prohibition on the use of handheld cellphones while driving is a primary offense, meaning a police officer could stop and ticket a driver for using a handheld cellphone without observing or citing for any other offense.

A violation has the same potential penalty as most traffic violations cited under the City's Ordinances. A violation would be a first-degree misdemeanor, with a potential maximum penalty of $1,000 fine and 6 months in jail. Two points would be assessed to the person's driving record. Tickets would be waiverable, or drivers could contest a ticket in court.

Virtually all traffic laws in the City for moving violations have carried the same potential penalty (i.e. 1st degree misdemeanor) since at least 1980; this includes speeding, failing to obey traffic control devices like stop lights and signs, illegal u-turns, not stopping for school buses, not paying full time and attention to driving, driving under suspension, lack of license plate, and unsafe vehicle laws such as tail or head lights being out. The Municipal Court judge determines the penalty to apply for each case within the law.

Read more about the ban on the city's FAQ about the new law.

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