Only one statement of public comment was received Monday night during a public hearing for a city-initiated ordinance that will limit the use of handheld electronic devices while operating a vehicle. Kelly West, a Bellevue city employee, said he was left in a coma for a week in 2013 following an accident involving a distracted driver.

     The ordinance was brought forward by the Bellevue Marshal’s Office, in the hope of coming into line with Blaine County and neighboring Hailey, which both have a ban on handheld devices while driving, and to create safer streets for the city.

     Ultimately, council members decided to do the first reading of the ordinance and allow another public comment period at the city’s next meeting on Feb. 10.

     The Idaho Legislature has made efforts to pass a distracted driving law that would prohibit local authorities from adopting ordinances, including the one proposed in Bellevue, that prohibit or restrict the use of handheld devices. That bill currently sits with the House Transportation and Defense Committee.

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