Hands Free Ordinance begins Wednesday in Meridian

Ketchum could ban drivers from cell phone use
Posted at 8:12 AM, Dec 31, 2019
and last updated 2020-01-01 10:22:31-05

MERIDIAN, Idaho — Beginning January 1, the Meridian Police Department will enforce the City of Meridian's Hands Free Ordinance. This ordinance requires drivers to put down their handheld wireless devices while operating a vehicle on public streets or highways within the City of Meridian. This includes both while driving or while at stop lights.

The ordinance passed on November 1, 2019 but the Meridian Police Department used the last few months as an opportunity to educate Meridian residents about the new ordinance with billboards, mailers, social media and a thirty-second Public Safety Announcement. In addition, during the months of November and December Meridian officers wrote 161 warnings.

Starting the new year, violating this ordinance will result in an infraction with a fixed penalty of $90 plus court costs.

“It would please us if we didn’t have to write a single citation,” Said Chief Lavey, “We would like people to do the right thing and put down the phone and just drive.”

For more information and to read the ordinance, click here.