MERIDIAN -- Meridian could be the second city in the state of Idaho to ban texting while driving.
October1, a city ordinance went into effect in Twin Falls making texting behind the wheel illegal there. Now, the city of Meridian is considering a similar ban.
The Meridian City Council says in their upcoming meeting Tuesday, they could determine whether to join other states, and cities like Twin Falls, in banning texting while driving.
We think we're getting closer to getting an ordinance together that we can pass to say this is what we want to do in the city of Meridian, said Brad Hoaglun, a Meridian City Councilman.
Hoaglun said this latest proposed ordinance has been in the works for some time now.
Meridian's no longer a small community anymore, Hoaglun said. There's lots of traffic, lots of people. Ttexting is a distraction and it is something that takes people's attention away from what they should be doing.
If the ordinance is passed, the city said it would make a driver's first and second offense an infraction, punishable by a $75fine. A third violation could result in misdemeanor charges, punishable with a $300fine ora 90 day jail sentence,and in some cases both.
It will give the police department another tool in the toolbox to cite people if they're not paying attention to what they should be paying attention to -- and that's driving, said Hoaglun.
ThoseKTVB talked to had differing opinions on the propsed ban.
I think it would be great, said Karen Beagley, who lives inMeridian. I think it's sad that we have to make it a law to make people realize that s not a good idea.
Chris Skidmore, a17-year-old Meridian resident, said the majority of his friends text behind the wheel. But Skidmore said he believes a ban could cut down on the number of those texting behind the wheel.
Probably a good idea, but I don't think there's an easy fix for it at all, said Matthew McQuade, a Meridian resident.
Hoaglun said the possibleban is partly out of their concern for all of the drivers in Meridian.
For the city council, for the mayor, we have kids, some have grandkids, it's an issue we talk to our kids about -- don't text and drive, said Hoaglun. You cannot do both, and that type of concern we have kind of carries over to our city life in city council. We're concerned about it for everyone.
The Meridian City Council will be voting on this ordinace on Tuesday. They said they will be working out all the details of the ordinance, like when you would and would not be able to use a phone.
If the ordinance does pass, it could go into effect as soon as November 1.