Grande Prairie considers banning cell phones while driving

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GRANDE PRAIRIE, Alta. — A Grande Prairie alderman is leading the charge to ban cell phones while driving and hopes that by taking charge, other municipalities will follow suit.

Alderman Helen Rice raised the issue at the city’s protective services committee meeting last week, noting that New York state recently banned handheld cell phones.

"It’s a role your committee could really play and the city could play a lead role in that investigation," Rice told Grande Prairie and Safe Communities executive director Kim Fenton.

She later told local media that "I think there are statistics that can back it up, the number of accidents they have caused."

Rice plans to lobby groups such as Alberta Urban Municipalities and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to join in the battle against gabbing drivers. But, she admits that cell phones are sometimes necessary and would like to see hands-free cell phones continue to be legal.

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