City of Lyndhurst, Ohio Legislative Committee
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September 7, 2010: Legislative Committee

The Legislative Committee will meet on Tuesday, September 7, 2010 at 7:15 P.M. to discuss proposed Ordinance No. 2010-30 which prohibits driving a vehicle while using a mobile communication device by an individual under the age of eighteen years of age, or by an individual without a valid driver's license.
Patrick A. Ward, Chairman
September 7, 2010: Legislative Committee

The Legislative Committee met Tuesday, September 7, 2010, at 7:15 P.M. in the City Hall Conference room to discuss Ordinance 2010-30 regarding Cellular Telephone usage by drivers under the age of 18 while operating a motor vehicle in the City.
In attendance were Committee members Councilman Frey, Councilman Schlessel and Councilman Ward. Others in attendance included Councilman Fisher, Councilman Gambatese, Councilman LoPresti, Councilman Marko, Law Director Paul Murphy and Police Chief Rick Porrello. Absent was Mayor Cicero.
Councilman Schlessel briefly outlined his purpose for introducing the Legislation, why the Legislation targeted younger teen drivers and some of the concerns that might be addressed with its passage.
Much discussion ensued and many comments were made about enforcement challenges that might arise if this became law. It was pointed out that this would be another "unique to Lyndhurst" law and that it would be far more logical for the State to finally step up and create a single standard for the use of cellular or other hand-held devices by drivers that would apply in all cities instead of the patchwork of regulations that currently apply. Currently Lyndhurst has a texting ban and South Euclid has an overall ban on cell use while driving. Mr. Murphy pointed out that the "uniqueness of laws" from City to City really is the essence of Home Rule and is how we can address the important concerns of our community quickly and effectively.
Chief Porrello was asked how many citations have been issued in response to the City's "no texting" Ordinance which was passed last year to which he replied, "none". Mr. Marko indicated he notices distracted drivers of all ages operating poorly not just younger drivers.
Chief Porrello referenced recommendations by the Governors' Highway Safety Association with regard to cell phone usage, one specifically stating:
"Ban all non-emergency cell phone usage for new drivers, as part of its Graduated Driver Licensing Law, as well as for School Bus Drivers. The GHSA does not support handheld cell phone bans as there is conflicting data on the issue."
Mr. Fisher stated he would like to see a law which would apply to drivers of all ages not just young teens and wondered if it should not be made a secondary instead of primary offense. Mr. Gambatese strongly suggested signage be installed at the City entrances regarding our Ordinance banning text messaging and, if any other rules are adopted those as well.
Councilman Frey made a Motion that the Committee recommend to Council the Ordinance be tabled to allow the Law Director time to research wording that would make the law applicable to all ages. The motion was seconded by Mr. Schlessel and was accepted unanimously by all committee members. Mr. Murphy will prepare a Draft in advance of the next Council Meeting and will attempt to gather statistics from states that have overall bans with regard to their efficacy and enforcement. The Committee will meet to discuss the draft wording and those findings prior to the next Council meeting on September 20th.
With no further business the meeting was adjourned at 7:56 PM
Respectfully submitted,
Patrick A. Ward, Chairman

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