Time to hang up and drive


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Just a friendly reminder that tomorrow, Wednesday, marks the beginning of the city's new ban on using a hand-held cellphone while driving a vehicle or motorcycle, or riding a bike. City Council passed the ordinance Nov. 5, joining Bozeman, Butte, Helena, Whitefish and Havre as cities with similar restrictions.

If this news makes you want to scream at Siri or madly thumb-type hate texts, rest easy. The ban begins with a 60-day warnings-only period to give us you phone addicts some time to adjust. (One note: If you cause an accident while on Twitter or talking to Mom, you get no warning.)

When the warnings-only period ends, the minimum penalty for a first offense will be $100. A second offense within 12 months will set you back $150. The minimum fine for use of a hand-held cellphone by a driver involved in a crash will be $350.


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