The cell phone ban in Allentown in Philadelphia in the United States is no more. A Lehigh County judge has made the ban a thing of the past after declaring that the city had zero authority to impose it in the first place. The ban, which was introduced in Allentown just over a year ago, found itself in the courts again when two motorists who were fined for being caught using their old cell phones while driving objected and decided to take the issue – and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the process – to court.
Mayor Ed Pawlowski, who signed the bill into law over 12 months ago, is baffled by the decision made by the judge. “Anybody who looks at this issue, it’s a no brainer,” he says. “Accidents happen but obviously texting and talking on the cell phone while you’re driving distracts people, there’s clear evidence it causes lots of accidents.” Pawlowski says he may appeal the judge’s decision after reviewing the verdict carefully. “My hope is that the legislature takes it up, takes it up seriously, and you know, makes a law so we don’t have to battle these battles out on a local level.”
Allentown city councilman Mike Schlossberg is another disappointed by the judge’s ruling, after sponsoring the ban following the death of a college friend’s parents in a car accident where the other driver was talking on a cell phone. Other citizens, however, say that a cell phone ban while driving is taking the law too far.