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Hands off that phone while driving

Evanston Police will start issuing verbal warnings Monday as enforcement of the city’s new ordinance banning drivers from using hand-held cell phones.

Only hands-free cell phone use is legal under the ordinance, which also bans text messaging, sending, reading or listening to an electronic message or browsing the internet.

Evanston Police will start issuing verbal warnings Monday as enforcement of the city’s new ordinance banning drivers from using hand-held cell phones.

Only hands-free cell phone use is legal under the ordinance, which also bans text messaging, sending, reading or listening to an electronic message or browsing the internet.

Police Commander Tom Guenther says the let-you-off-with-a-warning period will last just a week, and won’t apply to drivers involved in reckless or negligent driving behaviors or drivers involved in traffic crashes associated with mobile phone usage.

The ordinance exempts "any person using a mobile telephone or on-board communications device for non-personal use in the course of ordinary business in their employment with a City, State or Federal agency or authority" and permits anyone to use a cell phone while driving to call 911.

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