|BG puts brakes on driving ordinance|
|Written by HAROLD BROWN Sentinel City Editor|
|Tuesday, 07 August 2012 09:49|
Bowling Green City Council Monday night unanimously rejected a controversial distracted driving ordinance.
Council followed through on what First Ward Council Member Daniel Gordon promised last week but had to take a different approach to get the job done.
Gordon intended to withdraw the ordinance, but later learned that was not legal. "We have to give it a second and a third reading and then vote it down." After some comments, all seven members answered "no" to a roll call vote.
The ordinance received its first reading at council's July 16 meeting after getting a June 18 recommendation from council's Transportation and Safety Committee. Several people spoke against the ordinance that night. Some saw the proposal as a way to enact a ban on using cell phones while driving and others saw it as giving police unlimited reasons to stop motorists.
At-Large Member Robert McOmber said his decision was not influenced by those who attended the July 16 meeting. "I simply came to the conclusion that it would not be effective in accident prevention." McOmber said he sees a role for government to play in accident reduction but does not think council ought to consider a similar ordinance in the future.
Fourth Ward Council Member Greg Robinette repeated his initial reaction that the ordinance unnecessary.
During council's time for public comment, former City Council Member William Herald praised council members in general for their work and following a process. He specifically cited Gordon for proposing the legislation and then being responsive to the citizens. "This is not a defeat, but a success. You went through the process and listened and then voted it down," Herald said.
McOmber added that Gordon did not deserve to be personally maligned by some in the community who disagreed with the proposal.
• Learned Mercer Road will be closed to through traffic Aug. 17 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. to help accommodate the arrival of thousands of Bowling Green State University students moving into residence halls. Access will be controlled by police.
• Honored Richard Schmidt for more than 14 years of service as a member of the city's Board of Public Utilities. Schmidt, who has moved to Charleston, S.C., said residents need to realize that "this community is a gem."
• Learned bids will be opened Friday for the demolition of the swimming pool at City Park. The pool season will end Aug. 19. Bids for the new pool complex will be opened by the end of August.
• Approved sale of a 2003 Audi A-6 that was seized and forfeited to the Police Division as the result of a criminal investigation. Proceeds will go to the Law Enforcement Trust Fund. Sale details will be announced.
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