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Bozeman Police step up patrol for hands free ordinance

By Jordan Moore, KTVM Reporter, jmoore@ktvm.com
Published On: Sep 11 2013 10:35:16 PM MDT
BOZEMAN, Mont. -

If you have ever caught yourself breaking the cell phone ordinance law in Bozeman, you might want to think twice next time. Bozeman police say they plan to step up patrols and hand out more tickets.

The ring of cell phone is a sound that can distract you in an instant, especially if you are behind the wheel. In Bozeman, one of the ways officials try to keep drivers focused on the road is through the cell phone ordinance.

Officer Rick Musson is one of two full time traffic officers, he tells me they are stepping up efforts to catch drivers on their phones.

"I investigate a lot of crashes, and most of the crashes have distracted driving as a contributing factor," said Musson.

This ordinance has been in place for over a year so we wanted to know why they are increasing patrols now.

"There is a lot more traffic not only with the high school but also MSU," said Musson.

We also spoke to local residents like Dennis Nelson. Nelson tells us he has seen first hand what a driver with a cell phone in hand can do.

"My daughter had an accident once someone had a cell phone and ran into the back of her," said Nelson.
 
That is why Officer Musson says they are on the lookout.

"I have made a couple of stops today on the cell phone violation," said Musson.

If that does not stop you, maybe a dent in your wallet will.

"It is a flat fee of 100 dollars," said Musson.

The law covers hand-held electronic devices such as cell phones and laptops, However hands free devices like blue tooth are okay to use. Increased patrols will start this coming Monday. Officer Musson says the best thing to do if you get a call is to pull over safely and take the call.