Posted: Aug 24, 2013 5:52 PM by Lindsey Gordon - MTN News
Updated: Aug 24, 2013 9:37 PM
HELENA - If you are caught driving and using your cell phone in Helena you will be paying more for violations starting September 1st, 2013.
On Friday, Helena Municipal Court Judge Bob Wood announced that the fee would increase from the current $50 to $75 and can reach as high as $100 for multiple violations, which is the maximum under city ordinance.
Wood said it's timed with the start of school to remind kids how important it is to keep off cell phones while driving.
"We've seen hundreds of cell phone violations, you and I drive around all the time and see people on cell phones and texting, and by the way it's not only kids, it's old people like me," he said.
The city has handed out nearly 850 citations for violations of the distracted driving ordinance since they started enforcing it with fines in January of 2012.
The ordinance was originally passed by the Helena City Commission in November of 2011.
The highest number of citations issued occurred in July 2013, with 99 distracted driving citations issued.