Commissioners Approve Ban on Texting While Driving

Starting soon, anyone caught sending a text message while operating a motor vehicle in Monroe County will be subject to a $25 fine.  That’s the business end of an ordinance approved by county commissioners Friday which bans the practice.  Commissioner Iris Kiesling (D-3rd) admits she doesn’t foresee many tickets arising from the new rule.

“It’s the kind of thing that’s difficult to enforce,” Kiesling says.  “But if there’s an accident or something happens that looks like it might have been related to the distraction of the driver, then maybe that is something that can be taken into account when [police] are reviewing the incident.”

County Sheriff Jim Kennedy says his department won’t spend extra time cracking down on text messaging scofflaws.  Kiesling says commissioners took a cue from Fort Wayne State Senator Tom Wyss, who’s crafting similar legislation he plans to introduce in the upcoming legislative session.

Stan Jastrzebski

WFIU/WTIU News Senior Editor Stan Jastrzebski spent time as a reporter with WGN Radio in Chicago and as an editor at Network Indiana, an Indianapolis news service. Stan is the winner of awards from the Associated Press, the RTDNA, the Indiana Broadcasters Association and the Society of Professional Journalists. He hosts WFIU's Ask the Mayor and anchors WTIU's InFocus.

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