Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

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
Chris Brennan, a native Philadelphian and graduate of Temple University, joined the Daily News in 1999. He has written about SEPTA, the Philadelphia School District, the legalization of casino gambling, state government, the mayor, the governor, City Council and political campaigns. E-mail tips to brennac@phillynews.com
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Jenny DeHuff is a 2005 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she cut her teeth in journalism. A South Philly transplant from New England, she joined the Daily News City Hall Bureau in 2013. For the past several years, she has worked as an investigative reporter exposing corruption in suburban politics, covering sometimes ghastly criminal court cases and following the people’s money and how its spent. In addition to being a dogged news hound, she enjoys reading and writing about travel, animals, Irish whiskey and aviation. E-mail tips to dehuffj@phillynews.com
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