Ordinance 2013-02

AN EMERGENCY ORDINANCE TO SUPPLEMENT THE CODIFIED
ORDINANCES OF MAYFIELD VILLAGE, OHIO BY ENACTING
NEW SECTIONS 331.43 and 331.44 PROHIBITING THE USE OF
WIRELESS HANDSETS TO TEXT MESSAGE WHILE DRIVING.

WHEREAS, as of September 2012, according to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, 39 states, including Ohio, outlaw text messaging;

WHEREAS, mobile texters in the United States sent 2 trillion messages in 2011, according to industry statistics cited by the New York Times;

WHEREAS, according to a 2010 study by Nationwide Insurance, 20% of drivers use text messaging while at the wheel and that number jumped to 47% amongst drivers under the age of 35;

WHEREAS, in 2007, a National American Automobile Association survey of 1,000 16 and 17 year old drivers found that 46% sent text messages with their cell phones while driving;

WHEREAS, each year, 21% of fatal car crashes involving teenagers between the age of 16 and 19 were the result of cell phone use and this result is expected to grow as much as 4% every year;

WHEREAS, this Council believes that regulation of text messaging while driving is necessary for the health and safety of Ohio citizens and the residents of this Village.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED BY THE COUNCIL OF MAYFIELD VILLAGE, OHIO, THAT:

SECTION 1. The Codified Ordinances of Mayfield Village Ohio are hereby supplemented by enacting new Sections 331.43 and 331.44, to read as more fully set forth in Exhibit “A”, attached hereto and incorporated herein by reference.

SECTION 2.   After the effective date of this ordinance, a law enforcement officer who observes that the operator of a motor vehicle has committed or is committing a violation of Codified Ordinance Section 331.43 or 331.44 will be authorized to issue a ticket, citation, or summons to that operator for that violation or to cause the arrest of or commence a prosecution of such an operator for that violation.

SECTION 3.   All other provisions of the Village Codified Ordinances not inconsistent herewith shall remain in full force and effect.

SECTION 4 .  The Clerk of Council is authorized and directed to forward a certified copy of this Ordinance to the Codifier of the Village of Mayfield.

SECTION 5. The Council finds and determines that all formal actions of this Council relating to the adoption of this Ordinance have been taken at open meetings of this Council; and that deliberations of this Council and of its committees, resulting in such formal action, took place in meetings open to the public, in compliance with all statutory requirements including the requirements of Section 121.22 of the Ohio Revised Code.

SECTION 6.  This Ordinance is hereby declared to be an emergency measure immediately necessary for the health, safety and welfare of the residents of Mayfield Village, Ohio.  It shall, therefore, take effect immediately upon the passage by the affirmative vote of not less than five (5) members elected to Council and approval by the Mayor or otherwise at the earliest time allowed by law.

EXHIBIT A

Sec. 331.43.  (A) No person shall drive a motor vehicle, trackless trolley, or streetcar on any street, highway, or property open to the public for vehicular traffic while using a handheld electronic wireless communications device to write, send, or read a text-based communication.

(B) Division (A) of this section does not apply to any of the following:

(1) A person using a handheld electronic wireless communications device in that manner for emergency purposes, including an emergency contact with a law enforcement agency, hospital or health care provider, fire department, or other similar emergency agency or entity;

(2) A person driving a public safety vehicle who uses a handheld electronic wireless communications device in that manner in the course of the person's duties;

(3) A person using a handheld electronic wireless communications device in that manner whose motor vehicle is in a stationary position and who is outside a lane of travel;

(4) A person reading, selecting, or entering a name or telephone number in a handheld electronic wireless communications device for the purpose of making or receiving a telephone call;

(5) A person receiving wireless messages on a device regarding the operation or navigation of a motor vehicle; safety-related information, including emergency, traffic, or weather alerts; or data used primarily by the motor vehicle;

(6) A person receiving wireless messages via radio waves;

(7) A person using a device for navigation purposes;

(8) A person conducting wireless interpersonal communication with a device that does not require manually entering letters, numbers, or symbols or reading text messages, except to activate, deactivate, or initiate the device or a feature or function of the device;

(9) A person operating a commercial truck while using a mobile data terminal that transmits and receives data;

(10) A person using a handheld electronic wireless communications device in conjunction with a voice-operated or hands-free device feature or function of the vehicle.

(C) Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, no law enforcement officer shall cause an operator of an automobile being operated on any street or highway to stop the automobile for the sole purpose of determining whether a violation of division (A) of this section has been or is being committed or for the sole purpose of issuing a ticket, citation, or summons for a violation of that nature or causing the arrest of or commencing a prosecution of a person for a violation of that nature, and no law enforcement officer shall view the interior or visually inspect any automobile being operated on any street or highway for the sole purpose of determining whether a violation of that nature has been or is being committed.

(D) Whoever violates division (A) of this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor. 

(E) As used in this section:

(1) "Electronic wireless communications device" includes any of the following:

(a) A wireless telephone;

(b) A text-messaging device;

(c) A personal digital assistant;

(d) A computer, including a laptop computer and a computer tablet;

(e) Any other substantially similar wireless device that is designed or used to communicate text.

(2) "Voice-operated or hands-free device" means a device that allows the user to vocally compose or send, or to listen to a text-based communication without the use of either hand except to activate or deactivate a feature or function.

(3) "Write, send, or read a text-based communication" means to manually write or send, or read a text-based communication using an electronic wireless communications device, including manually writing or sending, or reading communications referred to as text messages, instant messages, or electronic mail.

Sec. 331.44.  (A) No holder of a temporary instruction permit who has not attained the age of eighteen years and no holder of a probationary driver's license shall drive a motor vehicle on any street, highway, or property used by the public for purposes of vehicular traffic or parking while using in any manner an electronic wireless communications device.

(B) Division (A) of this section does not apply to either of the following:

(1) A person using an electronic wireless communications device for emergency purposes, including an emergency contact with a law enforcement agency, hospital or health care provider, fire department, or other similar emergency agency or entity;

(2) A person using an electronic wireless communications device whose motor vehicle is in a stationary position and the motor vehicle is outside a lane of travel;

(3) A person using a navigation device in a voice-operated or hands-free manner who does not manipulate the device while driving.

(C)(1) Except as provided in division (C)(2) of this section, whoever violates division (A) of this section shall be fined one hundred fifty dollars. In addition, the court shall impose a class seven suspension of the offender's driver's license or permit for a definite period of sixty days.

(2) If the offender previously has been convicted of a violation of this section, whoever violates this section shall be fined three hundred dollars. In addition, the court shall impose a class seven suspension of the offender's driver's license or permit for a definite period of one year.

(D) As used in this section, "electronic wireless communications device" includes any of the following:

(1) A wireless telephone;

(2) A personal digital assistant;

(3) A computer, including a laptop computer and a computer tablet;

(4) A text-messaging device;

(5) Any other substantially similar electronic wireless device that is designed or used to communicate via voice, image, or written word.

ORDINANCE PASSED: 2/19/2013