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Meridian bans driving while using handheld devices, will it work?

After the ordinance passed Tuesday, drivers now say they have questions.

MERIDIAN, Idaho — Meridian, you are now weeks away from a new hands-free ordinance taking effect.

Tuesday night, the ban on using handheld devices while driving passed after a tie breaking vote by Mayor Tammy De Weerd.

Now though, there are a lot of questions from drivers.

For example, what’s the penalty?

"It will be a $90 penalty plus court costs, I believe court costs are around $65 in Ada County, so it will be $155 if you are issued a citation," explains Meridian Police Chief Jeff Lavey. "Any driver on the public roadway cannot have a handheld two-way device in their hands."

RELATED: Meridian bans use of hand-held devices while driving

Meridian police are now locked in on the issue, but do the people of Meridian care?

"I get really frustrated, I'm trying to drive and get places and other people make it take longer to go where you're going. Causes more accidents," said Meredith Simmonds.

"I think it is a big problem, especially with people like me who are young and they don't really see the risk in that, or they don't have experience with that," said Brenn Chapman.

Unfortunately though, people like Chapman do have experience with that.

"Texting and driving is not a good thing, my grandpa died from that, he got in a car crash, that was a little while ago. It's not worth that risk to send one text and get in that crash, it's not worth it," said Chapman.

The state of Idaho already has a ban on texting and driving.  Lavey says Meridian has written the most tickets for violating it. 

"I know one officer has wrote over 200 tickets in a year, while texting and driving," said Lavey.

This new ordinance expands on that, but it also identifies a "loophole" that some think exists. Using a handheld device at a red light or stop sign.

"It's not okay," explains Lavey. "When the light's turn green people aren't going, that's been frustrating where people get out of the car and start yelling. We have had people pull guns on people because of that."

The ordinance will go into effect in the next few weeks.

At first, drivers will get a warning, but officers are prepared to hand out tickets shortly after the ordinance goes into effect.

RELATED: Meridian police chief says handheld device ban while driving will make streets safer and decrease road rage

KTVB checked with other cities around the valley to see if they are considering the same ordinance.    

Nampa Mayor Debbie Kling issued a statement inviting Nampa residents to email the mayor or respond to a poll on the city's Facebook and Nextdoor pages, asking for their input on a ban.

A spokesperson for the Caldwell mayor says a ban on handheld phone use while driving is an issue they've discussed, and will look into in the future.

In Boise, a spokesman for the city says that idea is not under consideration at this time.

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