Wednesday, March 4, 2015

City Cell Phone Ban For Drivers Up For Hearing, Facing Challenge

Legislation to ban the use of cell phones by drivers in Philadelphia comes up for a public hearing tomorrow morning after it was introduced in August by Councilmen Bill Green, Bill Greenlee and Frank Rizzo. And that has a Montgomery County attorney renewing his pledge to represent for free anyone cited for the infraction if the law is approved by Council and signed by Mayor Nutter.

City Cell Phone Ban For Drivers Up For Hearing, Facing Challenge

Legislation to ban the use of cell phones by drivers in Philadelphia comes up for a public hearing tomorrow morning after it was proposed in August by Councilmen Bill Green, Bill Greenlee and Frank Rizzo.  And that has a Montgomery County attorney renewing his pledge to represent for free anyone cited for the infraction if the law is approved by Council and signed by Mayor Nutter.

The legislation would allow drivers to use a "hand-free" device to carry on conversations but also ban text messaging and e-mailing from the driver's seat.  The legislation, introduced in Council in September, also included a ban on cell phone use for people using scooters, roller skates, bikes and skateboards.

PennDOT has expressed concerns, saying the law infringes on the power of the state's motor vehicle code.  That's how attorney Philip J. Berg overcame for a client a similar ordinance in Hilltown, Bucks County, in 2000.  Berg called the proposed Philadelphia ordinance as a "feel-good" measure.  He may show up tomorrow to testify.

If Berg's name sounds familiar, that may be because he filed a federal suit in Philadelphia, asserting that President Obama was not a United States citizen and therefore ineligible to serve in the Oval Office. The U.S. Supreme Court disagreed.  Berg tells PhillyClout he is now running for judge in the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas.

About this blog
William Bender, a Drexel graduate who landed at the Daily News in 2007, has covered everything from South Philly mobsters to doomsday hucksters. He occasionally writes about local food trucks and always eats everything on his plate, whether it be a bloody rib eye or a corrupt politician. E-mail tips to benderw@phillynews.com
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David Gambacorta, has been a reporter with the Daily News since 2005, covering crime, police corruption and all of the other bizarre things that happen in Philadelphia. Now he’s covering the 2015 mayor’s race, because he enjoys a good circus just as much as the next guy. He’s always looking to get a cup of coffee. Send news tips and other musings on life to gambacd@phillynews.com
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