Missoula cops hand out more than 1,200 cellphone tickets

MISSOULA COUNTY

By Emily Adamson, KECI Reporter, eadamson@keci.com
POSTED: 10:32 AM Oct 16 2013   UPDATED: 6:11 PM Oct 16 2013
Cell phone ban expected to pass in Missoula
MISSOULA, Mont. -

Missoula police have handed out 1,241 cellphone citations since a city ordinance banning the use of handheld devices while driving took effect in February.

At a Public Safety and Health Committee meeting Wednesday, Assistant Police Chief Mike Brady provided the update on citations.

Municipal Court Administrator Tina Schmaus said the court has collected over $63,800 from fines so far, which includes a surcharge fee. At $100 a ticket, that's just over half. Schmaus said many people are on payment plans or haven't appeared in court yet but collections are going well.

Half of the money received will be put toward another round of city-run advertising. City Communications Director Ginny Merriam said the new campaign will start within the next few weeks. Merriam said the city will stick with billboards and transit ads, but it is considering additional spots on the radio as well as signs in parking structures.