The vote came in at 4-1 for approval of the city-wide cell phone ban by the Amarillo City Commission!  Drop your cell-phones!  Blue-tooth devices are about to be back in style!

So here's the deal, you can use your cell-phone, as long as it's hands-free.  So, get familiar with your phone's speaker-phone system, get a blue-tooth, or I guess you could tape the phone to your face.

Either way, if you're caught violating the ordinance, you'll get slapped in the ear with a $200 fine!

I see a little disaster ahead, imagine you're using your iPod in your vehicle, and you get pulled over.  Well, that's perfectly legal, and you won't get in trouble, but you will have your time wasted by a cop that made an honest mistake.

So, how do you use your phone as you do in everyday life, but not get hit with a fine?

A few things come to mind.

GPS

If you're a delivery driver, you pretty much live with your phone and rely on the GPS system it has.  A suggestion, before you take off on your delivery, go ahead and get your directions that are needed, and simply put your phone in a location you can see it, without having to hold it.  Thus, giving you the directions you need, and not getting you a fine.

Emergency Call

A simple explanation for this is in my brain.  We all have those emergency phone calls, so when you get one, or have to make one, pull your car over and park it in a parking-lot.  There's a Toot N Totum on every corner, utilize the parking-lot and make your phone call.

Music Player

Again, it's legal to use the music player, so to avoid picking your phone up and having your time wasted by getting pulled over, I think it's best that you start building some play-lists.  Put together a few good play-lists and hit the play button, then hit the road.  Or just keep your radio on 96.9 KISS-FM, because we've got all the good music already in a play-list for you :)

I know this cell-phone ban is kind of a pain and thorn in your side.  Look at the bright side, maybe this will cut down the amount of accidents caused by people texting and driving or checking their email while heading to work!  Save a life for a little trouble?  Well worth it to me!

Make the most of it!  It will be in effect 30 days after the pen touches the paper and all the needed signatures are inked.  Best to start getting use to it now I think.