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Blaine County to start issuing $100 tickets for using a cell phone while driving

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The Blaine County Sheriff's Office has announced it will start issuing $100 citations to people who violate the county's handheld device ordinance.

The ordinance, which was passed by county commissioners in 2016, forbids drivers from using any handheld electronic device while driving.

Until now, the sheriff's office says they have been issuing warnings to drivers and placing signs around the county about the ordinance.

“We have given plenty of warnings, but we want to make one last announcement before enforcement begins,” said Sheriff Steve Harkins in a press release.

The enforcement area includes roads outside of any city limits in the county.

There are exceptions to the ordinance that include drivers using a hands-free device, emergency crews, drivers who are parked, and drivers who are using a phone to report an emergency.

“Distracted driving is a dangerous epidemic on our roadways. We have seen too many accidents where cell phone usage was likely the cause. Please put down your mobile devices and wait until you are in a safe and proper place to use them,” said Harkins. “Remind yourself every time you get in the car and help us educate your kids, family and friends - 'Just Drive - It can wait!' This is an important message that will save lives and we ask that you help us spread the word.”

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