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UPDATE: Cell Phone Use While Driving Banned in Marietta

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UPDATE 3/7/2014 10:05 AM

Many topics brought up Thursday at Marietta's City Council meeting.

Council passed, with all seven members voting yes, to ban texting and talking on the phone while driving within city limits.

The letter that Mayor Matthews wrote vetoing the yes vote to the property maintenance code was read, but no further action was taken.

Many members of the community came and voiced their opinion.

The legislation leasing for bid to oil and gas companies of Marietta city property was read.

No further action on that at this time.

UPDATE 10/09/2013 10:16 AM

A public meeting Tuesday night at Lookout Park regarding the mayor's proposed cell phone law didn't raise much opposition.

Last week Marietta Mayor Joe Matthews proposed a new law to the Police and Fire Committee.

He wants to make it a primary offense in the City of Marietta to use your cell phone while driving.

The committee decided to hold a public meeting to give the community a chance to come and ask questions and to learn more about this possible new law.

City officials were there but no one from the community showed up to express their concern.

Representatives from city council, the city police department and Ohio State Highway Patrol were all present and willing to work together to figure out the best way to put this new law into action.

Texting while driving is a primary offense in West Virginia, but not in Ohio.

Marietta Mayor Joe Matthews is trying to make texting and driving a primary offense in the City of Marietta.

This means texting while driving and using your cell phone in general while driving in the city limits of Marietta could become a primary offense.

It would be a misdemeanor, meaning you can get pulled over, fined and spend time in jail.

Mayor Matthews is presenting this to the Police and Fire Committee because he says using your cell phone while driving is too dangerous.

The city committee will now decide whether it will be a first or fourth degree misdemeanor and with that, how large the fine.

Everyone in the meeting Monday agreed the terrible stories that have come from people texting and driving all over the nation is too much, and something needs to be done.

Mayor Matthews says he is pushing this issue because the state laws in Ohio don't go as far as they should have.

Right now it is only a primary offense for a juvenile to text and use the phone while driving.

There will be a public hearing on Tuesday, October 8th, 7PM at Lookout Park.

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