Las Cruces – The Las Cruces Police Department has issued 77 citations since the inception of the city's new ordinance that prohibits the use of cell phones while driving.
The law prohibits drivers from using a cell phone without a hands-free device. It went into effect Feb. fifth.
Violations require a mandatory appearance in municipal court. Penalties include a fine of $25 for the first offense, $50 for the second offense, and up to 90 days in jail or a $500 fine, or both, for any subsequent violation.
The ordinance prohibits cell phone use while driving within city limits. The ban includes engaging in a phone call, and creating, sending and reading text messages and e-mails while operating a motor vehicle.
Engaging in a conversation on a cell phone is permitted within city limits if the driver is utilizing a hands-free device.