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NPT City: Cell phone ban and vehicle impoundment

Get ready for a wild ride:

CITY OF EL PASO, TEXAS LEGISLATIVE REVIEW COMMITTEE – HEALTH AND PUBLIC SAFETY
Thursday, April 9, 2009, 3:00 p.m. City Hall, Two Civic Center Plaza, 2nd Floor, Council Chambers
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AGENDA

1. Call to order and establish quorum.

2. Approval of October 23, 2008, and January 30, 2008, LRC Minutes.

3. Follow-up discussion and action from the March 03, 2008, City Council Meeting regarding an Ordinance to amend Title 12, (Vehicles and Traffic) to amend Chapter 12.08 (Administration and Enforcement), Section 12.08.220 (Impounding Vehicles), of the El Paso City Code by adding subsection 12.08.220 A.21, authorizing a police officer to impound a motor vehicle stopped for a traffic law violation if the vehicle’s owner or operator fails to show evidence of financial responsibility. [Police Department, Gregory Allen, (915) 564-7302]

4. Discussion and action on an proposed Ordinance amending El Paso City Code by adding a section prohibiting the use of a handheld mobile telephone or communication device to engage in a call or the use of such device to send, read, or write a text message while operating a moving motor vehicle in an active reduced speed school zone where prohibited by sign, and providing for a fine of up to $200.00 per violation. [Representative Rachel Quintana, (915) 541-4701]

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Written by newspapertreeelpaso

April 7, 2009 at 10:22 am

Posted in Uncategorized

9 Responses

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  1. Good idea to ban cell phone use while driving! Better if the ban was state wide. Better yet if it was nation wide.

    judy

    April 7, 2009 at 2:44 pm

  2. Both of these are excellent and I hope they become law right away. The percentage of drivers in Texas without insurance is just unbelievable. All of us who do have insurance would certainly see our premiums go down if everyone driving had insurance and this is the best possible way to effect that coompliance with the law. Once people get insurance and know they MUST maintain it they become much more careful drivers to avoid accidents and keep their premiums low. Most states will immediately impound and tow any car on the spot if found to be driven unregistered, and having no insurance is no less of a serious violation of the law.

    One thing I never read about in our papers or on the TV news is when a hit-and-run driver is later identified and arested, did he/she flee from the scene of an accident because they did not have insurance? There must be a lot of that happening.

    I do have compasion for people who cannot afford a car, the registration and inspection fees and also insurance for it, but that is why I support our ever improving and expanding public transportation system in El Paso. Operating a car is not a right it is in fact an expensive privlidge.

    rich

    April 7, 2009 at 2:53 pm

  3. The only up-side I see to the impoundment ordinance is that it greatly improves the quality of life for traffic officers by giving them incentives to impound vehicles and receiving kick-backs from the towing companies for high numbers of impounds.

    As for the ordinance prohibiting the use of handheld communication devices, does this also apply to police officers using their radios and packet systems in school zones? If not, why not? If the city posts signs at the school zones to the effect that the use of cell phones is prohibited therein, doesn’t that imply that the use of a cell phone while driving outside a school zone is permitted? Will the city them post signs at the exit point of the school zone notifying the driver that it is now permissible to continue driving while distracted? This one is not well thought out.

    Chuck

    April 7, 2009 at 3:14 pm

  4. Using a hands-free device is still less safe than that not using a cellphone at all but it should be a minimum requirement.

    Ken G

    April 7, 2009 at 3:31 pm

  5. I don’t know how many times I have gone thru an inspection point and not been able to find my insurance form at that particular point in time. You can build up alot of crap in your glove box in six months and now police have the ability to check and see if a vehicle does or does not have insurance from their car. To assume that I am guilty is wrong and to make me take time off from work is even worse, now you want to take my car.

    Albert

    April 7, 2009 at 3:41 pm

  6. YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES!!!

    Thank you yes!

    Sean

    April 7, 2009 at 5:06 pm

  7. Is Rachael Quintana trying to appear cutting edge or something? It’s not happening with the proposed cell phone ban? What, where, how – is anyone else lost? Are there studies or evidence to show ANY kind of benefit? Seems to me like an invasion of privacy not to mention something that will be costly and ineffective. Better to just stay out of our business & leave well enough alone.

    Gpen

    April 7, 2009 at 8:25 pm

  8. The impound idea is fine…the cell phone ban, I don’t think will make a difference; El Pasoans are just terrible drivers.

    Vicente

    April 8, 2009 at 6:59 am

  9. I see elected officials creating the ordinance to take our cars for failing to follow the law. I would like to know why didn’t they include an ordinance for all the little stores around town who sell drugs and who also fail to fall the law. They failed to get permits but they also violate other laws. Just look around there are just right around the corner of each neighborhoood. Are elected officials affraid to take on the real problems of our community? I rather have them making money for our city they creating a liablity that we the taxpayer will have to pay.

    Lorenza Fraire

    April 8, 2009 at 10:19 am


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