City prohibits holding phone while driving

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A city in the region has made it illegal to drive while holding a cell phone.

The Battle Creek Enquirer reports that a new ordinance goes into effect today in Battle Creek, but police don't plan to ticket drivers — just yet — for typing, scrolling or talking on phones without the use of hands-free devices.

City officials said enforcement will start in earnest after signs alerting motorists to the ordinance go up later this month. A first offense carries a fine of $100.

Police Chief Jim Blocker said the ordinance is an opportunity to educate the public about the dangers of distracted driving.

Exceptions to the new ordinance include holding a phone while reporting crimes, road hazards and emergencies.

Battle Creek city commissioners approved the ordinance this month.

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