The Hailey City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to prohibit hands-on use of cell phones while cycling in the city. The penalty is an infraction with a fixed fine of $61.50.

The change in law regarding cycling is based on the city law prohibiting the use of mobile electronic devices while driving, unless there is a “hands-free” option on the device.

Mayor Fritz Haemmerle first brought the concern to a brief City Council discussion on Oct. 10. On Tuesday he reiterated his concerns.

“I have seen an inordinate amount of people riding down the bike paths using cell phones,” Haemmerle said. “It’s a sure way to die.”

In 2016 the city enacted a prohibition on the use of mobile electronic devices, unless the use was hands-free.

Drivers, and now bicycle riders, are not allowed to hold any type of wireless or data communication device while in control of a vehicle.

Such devices include cell phones, laptops and video, and music, photo, text-messaging, paging and PDA devices.

Drivers and cyclists are allowed to use hands-free technology such as Bluetooth, and are allowed to use cell phones while pulled out of travel lanes and parked.

Email the writer: tevans@mtexpress.com

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