UPDATE: Marietta Police Write 145 tickets for Violation of Electronics Use Ban

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UPDATE 11/12/2014 5:00 PM

145 tickets written since July in Marietta.

For what you ask?

Drivers violating the cell phone use while driving ordinance.

Marietta Police Captain Jeff Waite says each ticket is for $145.

Officials with Marietta Municipal Court say $95 gets split up between the state, city and county and then the other $50 goes to the city of Marietta.

"I go out with marked police cars and officers and I will stand somewhere and watch for violations. A lot of people don't like that but they have to remember that a lot of people text, they hold the cell phone down low. And from another vehicle you can't see that violation," says Capt. Waite.

Captain Waite says their goal is safety and that's why the enforcement is high.

Since July, Waite believes most of the community is understanding the law and many have stopped using their phones while driving.

However, not everybody, and the tickets will continue.

UPDATE 7/21/2014 5:10 PM

Police are now ticketing.

The two week warning period is over.

Within Marietta City Limits, electronics use while driving has to be hands-free.

Marietta Police say they gave out six tickets over the weekend and nine Monday.

This means no cell phone use while driving unless you have a hands-free device.

And your GPS needs to be pre-programmed before you start driving.

Tickets can be up to $150.

UPDATE 7/8/2014 2:40 PM

Marietta Police were out bright and early again Tuesday morning, watching for drivers on their phone.

In just an hour, police pulled over around 10 drivers for being on their phone.

They are still issuing warnings, but that is only for two weeks.

Police are also handing out distracted driving flyers.

Our Danielle Staub road along with them to see what the drivers had to say.

"I always use my cell phone while I'm driving. I do my business when I'm on the road driving. I don't think the law can be enforced," says driver Larry Michael Curry.

"No, I had no clue. I just found out, the hard way. I believe in it, I think it's great, I really do so, I think that it's very distracting to talk or text," says driver Julie Crago.

Captain Jeff Waite says he is also enforcing officers to be hands free as well.

The only exception would be in an emergency, which does happen.

July 19th they will be handing out tickets.

Remember as well, all GPS navigation has to be pre-programmed before you are driving.

To be safe, if you need to use the phone, pull over.

UPDATE 7/8/2014 11:05 AM

It's the law in Marietta.

No cell phone while driving.

And the police are out looking for drivers.

Just Monday morning the Marietta Police stopped nine people for using their cell phone while driving.

Captain Jeff Waite says they are issuing warnings and handed out a flyer on distracted driving.

After the two week warning period, on July 19th forward, they will be giving tickets, which can be up to $150.

This includes navigation systems.

They have to be pre-programmed and hands-free while driving.

UPDATE 6/27/2014 4:30 PM

Keeping Marietta roads safe.

A huge effort by the mayor and city council to cut down on distracted driving.

We have been telling you about this law for a while now and July 5th it takes effect.

No cell phone use while driving.

No phone, no tablets, no GPS.

On Friday the mayor and the streets superintendent marked where the signs will be along the road at every entrance to the city.

A big "No texting. No unauthorized cell phone use while driving".

It's now the law in Marietta.

There will be a two week warning period after July 5th.

So on July 19th police will be ticketing.

This includes tablets, GPS - any type of navigation.

You have to pull over to use anything electronic.

If you are driving you must already have it programmed or be using a blue tooth.

"Because there are so many near misses - I know we all experience it each and every day As to what's happening, I think we need it, it's the right thing to do," says Mayor Joe Matthews. "I know some people will not be happy with it because they conduct business in the car but I say if you can pull over for 5 minutes and save a life that's what it's all about."

Marietta Police will be handing out warnings and a pamphlet on distracted driving during the two weeks warning period.

This new law makes it a primary offense within city limits, so they can pull you over just for being on the phone.

And a ticket of around $150 - that's including court costs.

There is an exception and that is when you are making an emergency call - calling police, fire, calling 911 for any reason.

You can be on your phone.

But anything other than that - everyone in Marietta may need a blue tooth, or stay off the phone.

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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