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Clarifying Las Cruces Cell Phone Ban

Confusion ringing in El Paso, and clarification in Las Cruces.

Turns out hands-free-cel- phone use while driving is only part of the way to avoid a hefty fine.

“Obviously if you have a Bluetooth or hands free device and you’re looking down to dial or to read text message or e-mail, that’s not going to help you,” Dan Trujillo, Public Information Officer of Las Cruces Police Department, said.

The City of Las Cruces Cell Phone Ordinance defines a hands-free mobile telephone as, ?Equipped with an attachment [such as a Bluetooth] by which a user engages in a call without the use of either hand, whether or not the use of either hand is necessary to activate, deactivate, or initiate a function.?

Simply put, behind the wheel, drivers can talk all they want using a hands-free device.

But the moment eyes drift off the road ? to dial a number, make or answer a call, or send or read a text message ? any function with a phone requiring operation of a driver?s hand, increases the risk of citation.

If a driver appears distracted while talking with a hands-free device, an officer can also issue a ticket.

“We can’t put a law into effect that deals with every single distraction,? Trujillo said. ?But as far as keeping your eyes on the road, I think this Cell Phone Ordinance does the job.”

The best way to steer clear is to pull over when making calls and leave only the conversation for the driver’s seat.

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