A little known Great Falls ordinance that few follow on a daily basis.
Did you know it is illegal to use your cell phone in your hand while driving in Great Falls? I see people violating this law all the time, don't you? Did you know that it is also illegal to use a handheld cell phone when you are on your bike as well? The fine is $200 to $500 on the first offense.
The little known law has been around ten years and was passed in August of 2012. And if you are caught a second time on your phone while driving the penalty is even more serious. The fine is a minimum $300 and includes twenty hours of court approved community service to be completed in 90 days.
If you are convicted a third time, your in big trouble. minimum $400 fine and 40 hours of community service to be finished in 90 days. And additional penalties could include forfeiture of the vehicles license plates and even the possibility of license suspension for 180 days.
The law also prohibits texting and using GPS on a handheld device. Those that don't have to follow the law are fire, police and emergency responders. Great Falls police have said they will not be investigating call in complaints. Instead the violations have to be witnessed by an officer.
The way around the law is to use a hands free device. Keep both hands on the wheel people.
This law is just for the city limits of Great Falls. if you go outside the city there are no restrictions. And while the state has no laws on the books concerning cell phone use in a vehicle it does fall under the distracted driving laws and you could be hit with fines and more if you cause an accident while using the phone in your hand while driving.
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