Chicago Sun-Times

Lawsuit filed against city cell phone ban

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A class-action lawsuit was filed in federal court today, demanding refunds for people ticketed under the city of Chicago's hand-held cell phone ban.

As I've already pointed out in my column, Chicago Police aren't being that aggressive about enforcing the ban, but still, a $50 to $200 fine is not exactly chump change.

Attorney Blake Horwitz says motorists deserve refunds because of the city’s failure to post signs alerting them to the ban, which took effect two years ago.

What do you think?

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13 Comments

As soon as cops and other city workers stop using them while driving, i will.

WHAT?????? Is this why Governor BlagBlagB**ch raised taxes???? My Gosh, I have an idea. How about the idiots in charge of PACE/Metra/CTA/RTA balance the Budget!!!!! They can do this without ruining anything but their high 6 digit salaries!!!!!!!

Oh, they are enforcing the law?

As one of those pedestrians who has been hit by one of the cell phone yapping vehicle drivers, I think the fines should be higher than the $50 to $200. Like ten times higher. If that were the case,it would be more of a deterant for drivers to get off of their phones and pay attention to their surroundings. I too have had to jump out of the way of drivers who either were unfamiliar with the street they were driving on or simply indifferent to pedestrians or distracted by their cell phone usage. I got hit by a driver while I was in a cross walk with a signal. City driving requires the complete attention of the vehicle operator. Cell phones are simply too distracting for drivers and too dangerous for those impacted by their selfish, narcisstic indifference to other people.

Back off the cops. I am for the ban and the fines. I have a cell phone. I don't drive and talk. People on their phones while driving irritate the hell out of me and should pull over or shut up and drive. Trust me, you DON'T drive just as well while yakking on the phone than when you're not. Do what you're supposed do behind the wheel, drive.

For years there has been a "Do as I say, not as I do" attitude when it comes to the Chicago cops. That being said, the cell phone ban has been very well publicized for the past few years. I can't tell you how many times I, as a pedestrian, have had to jump back out of the crosswalk due to a driver with one hand on the wheel, another on their cell glued to their ear. The ban makes sense, has been well publicized, and needs to be enforced!!!! The drivers in this city need to keep their focus where it belongs.........on their driving and the road in front of them.

It's not fair that only some cops enforce the laws, especially if you're the unlucky person to get the $50-200 ticket.

If Chicago drivers are going to be getting tickets for cell phone use, what about the Chicago Cops and all Police on duty out there that are on their cell phones at all times while on the job.

The City of Chicago should also let police officers be fine talking on THE CELL PHONES while on duty.

Seems like this article is not very clear. Apparently, the lawsuit concerns the City's failure to properly notify (with signs, as required by law) thousands of people of the law. It seems that Illinois law requires the City to put up a sign if their the City's laws are different then that of Illinois. People can come from out of town or be recent citizens of the town. The law says that if the City does not put up signs, the City is not allowed to enforce the cell phone ban. Seems bizarre that the City does not follow the law and earns millions. Sneaky.......

think refunds are a good idea. It's not fair that only some cops enforce the laws, especially if you're the unlucky person to get the $50-200 ticket. If chicago drivers are going to be getting tickets for cell phone use, what about the chicago cops that are on the phone while pratroling?

The ordinance exempts on-duty emergency personnel(police, fire, paramedic.)

The biggest problem with today's people are procrastination and greed.. everyone wants to sue everyone to make a quick buck, and the government wants to put their hands in everyone else's pockets to make up for the lack of budgets. Bottom line is there are very little values left in this country and the US is becoming a third world country itself.

Ignorance of the law? Old story. There are hundreds of laws, ordinances etc. Imagine how many signs would be around, if this guy could win. Plus this one comes under the heading of common sense and safety.

Off with their talking heads!

I think refunds are a good idea. It's not fair that only some cops enforce the laws, especially if you're the unlucky person to get the $50-200 ticket. If chicago drivers are going to be getting tickets for cell phone use, what about the chicago cops that are on the phone while pratroling?

Let's see if I understand this correctly.
This previously unknown lawyer gets huge publicity from filing suit against a law the public wants.
He claims a city law violates state law, so he sues the city in federal court.
I wonder how long it's going to take the federal judge to throw this out as it should have been filed in Cook County Circuit Court.
And I certainly hope that the federal judge hits this publicity seeking shyster with heavy fines and jail time for violating Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Procedure, which requires a lawyer to certify that his case has merit!
Since it was filed in the wrong jurisdiction, it doesn't have merit!

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