City Government

No Talk Zone For Meridian Coppers

The new MERIDIAN city ordinance banning CELLPHONE use while driving will apply to coppers despite an exemption in the law.

Meridian Police Chief Jeff Lavey told the GUARDIAN, “Using the phone while driving can be as bad or worse than driving with a six-pack under your belt.”

He went on to say the new ordinance was copied from Ketchum, Idaho because it had withstood legal challenges. That said, he will make it official policy for officers to pull over if they have to make a call.

The ordinance excuses police, fire, ambulance, and first-responders in general from obeying the cell phone ban while driving. “We will handle it by policy,” said Lavey.

The GUARDIAN has noted it is pretty hard to tell a motorist to, “do as I say, not as I do.”

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Concerned Neighbor
    Oct 25, 2019, 9:18 am

    First Responders are expert drivers that spend 4x to 10x more time on the road than we do plus have training we don’t get. I trust them with a phone.

    OTOH… hands free has proven to do nothing. The problem is the distraction of the conversation. Unless you ban all calls then you’re not achieving anything real.

    Our problem today is that Boise and other area politicians don’t let police do their job at all. Death rates have doubled and driving has gotten worse than big cities.

    Solution? Let police do their job and ticket again. Bring sanity back to the streets.

  2. Fantastic!
    Perhaps Chief Masterson can follow this positive leadership from Meridian.

    and have their bike cops wear white/or hi-vis uniforms.

    Leading by example is always good.

  3. Blind Leading Blind
    Oct 25, 2019, 12:21 pm

    I frequently use crosswalks at big intersections. When in a vehicle it is frequently a tall vehicle with a good vantage point. My observations (no doubt, something we all see everyday):

    1) Huge numbers of illegally tinted windows (not enforced), often on new vehicles which are not protected by some out of state exemption. Why this matters is it’s difficult to know if opposing drivers are paying attention to the driving situation.
    2) Nearly every driver has a inside-outside scan that includes the phone in hand. Inside at phone tends to be way longer than outside. Often looking at the phone at the worst possible time such as passing through the intersection.
    3) It is very apparent when following an active texter. They look like drunk drivers. They are literally unconsciously following the car in front. If car in front drifts left or right so will zombie texter. If no car in front they drift out of lane repeatedly. Their situational awareness bubble only extends to the vehicle ahead, not beside, not behind.

    Distracted driving can be as simple as eating fast food, but using the smartphone takes the thinking mind away from the road. I believe hands free is nearly as bad because it takes the mind off the road just the same. Hard to enforce anything other than phone in hand though. Those who proclaim they are error free multitaskers are wrong. You suck at it, everyone sucks at it. If you did a job where your errors actually mattered you would understand this.

    Huge number of texting crash videos on youtube. Texting also seems to be a trigger for road rage. In particular speeding careless/reckless motorcyclists with helmet cams seem to dislike texting drivers the most. (I’ve never understood the motorcyclists flipping off people who could be crazy mad and simply run them over.) Be safe and calm down everyone, we will all meet again at the next stoplight.

  4. western guy
    Oct 25, 2019, 5:15 pm

    Who do police need to use phones so much when they have hundred gazillion $$ fancy two-way radios?

    EDITOR NOTE–Coppers can call parents to say their kid is stranded with a break down, notify folks they have found a lost or stolen item with their name on it, call to say the family dog was found in traffic, etc. etc. With a radio the airways would be clogged with routine and admin chatter all the time and it would take a bunch of dispatchers to field all the two-way phone calls.

  5. Cops need to be on their phones, sometimes, just like they need to drive fast sometimes. My only request is if they crash lets change the tradition and not cover up who’s at fault.

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