Written by JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN Sentinel County Editor
Tuesday, 05 June 2012 09:39
R U distracted by texting while driving?
On the heels of Ohio's governor signing the law banning texting while driving, Bowling Green City Council may adopt its own "distracted driving ordinance."
First Ward Councilman Daniel Gordon explained at Monday's meeting that while the state's law goes into effect in about 90 days, the city will meet later this month to discuss its own more restrictive ordinance.
The "very preliminary" discussions will be held prior to the next council meeting, on June 18 from 6 to 6:45 p.m.
City council has previously discussed a texting while driving ban, but Gordon said the administration was not in favor of such a ban. However, now that the state has enacted a texting ban, a city ordinance could act as a supplementary tool to make enforcement easier, he said after the council meeting.
Gordon explained that while the state law can only be enforced if texting is a secondary offense to some other driving violation, the city ordinance could make texting while driving a primary offense.
The local ordinance could also cover other distractions in addition to texting, "anything preventing someone from concentrating" on driving, he said.
The city already has reckless operation rules in place for drivers, but nothing regarding distractions.
Also at Monday's meeting, council heard from Public Works Director Brian Craft that efforts are underway to keep trash receptacles out of public sidewalks. City crews are being instructed to use the mechanical arm of the garbage truck to return the trash receptacles to front yards, rather than onto sidewalks. That change is now in effect for streets where the sidewalks abut the roadway, such as North Main, East Wooster and South College streets, Craft said.
The new effort to keep the sidewalks clear of garbage receptacles came after repeated visits to city council meetings by Michael Stickles, who uses a wheelchair to traverse the city. Stickles told council his travels are frequently impeded by garbage cans left by city crews on sidewalks.
In other business, council declared an emergency and passed an ordinance authorizing a contract to plug a leaking abandoned gas well and remediate the damaged area in Simpson Garden Park. A citizen had reportedly notified the city of the leaking well when a white substance was found on the grass in the area.
A grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources will pay for the well work, according to Municipal Administrator John Fawcett.
Council also went into executive session to discuss land acquisition, but took no action when they reconvened.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 June 2012 09:45