During Staff Reports in the Celina City Council workshop meeting, council members heard that the City of Celina will be hands-free beginning in April.
Assistant to the City Manager, Paul DeBuff, explained the new program, stating that the intention is to try it for one year. He explained that the only way a driver can use a cell phone or similar device is if the device is stationary on the dash of the car.
There will be signs at each entry point of Celina advising travelers of the new policy.
Celina’s Chief of Police, Tony Griggs, told the Council the new ordinance will make it easier for law enforcement to spot offenders. He said people who want to follow the law will put their phones down and others you will see swerving in the roadway as they try to do things with their phones. Councilor Chad Anderson asked if it will also apply to watches that are paired to the phone and the answer was, “yes.”
Councilor Bill Webber made the point that if the device is mounted, it would be okay and Griggs agreed. Ideally, the best time and situation for using cell phones is when drivers are stopped. To put things in a regional context, DeBuff said there are approximately 45 area cities with hands-free ordinances.