Signs warning motorists that the city of Havre bars cellphone use of any kind while driving are now at the four major entrances to the city. People entering the city limits are now aware of the ban.
It's hard to imagine, given the widespread coverage and constant controversy, that any resident drivers would be unaware of the ordinance.
Havre was in the forefront of the progressive movement to ensure safety on city streets. Helena and Bozeman have recently adopted similar measures.
The I's are dotted and the T's are crossed. There's no need for further lollygagging. The ban on cellphone use while driving is the law. People who use cellphones while driving have always been a danger to pedestrians and other motorists. Now they are officially violating the law.
There are no more excuses. it's time to crack down on these violators.
Interim Police Chief Gabe Matosich said he thinks just passing the law has already made a difference. Walking around the city, he said, fewer people seem to be talking on cellphones.
That's great. But it only takes one person on a cellphone to create a disaster.
Study after study has shown that cellphones cause accidents, far more than any other distraction.
Sometimes, the accidents are just fender-benders, but there is potential for far more serious accidents.
Some people's lives will be saved by the ordinance introduced by Councilman Woody Woodwick. They won't be thanking the councilman for taking all the guff he has taken for sponsoring this resolution. They won't thank him because they don't know who they are, that they have been spared.
But everyone can thank him for making city streets a little bit safer and making a walk across a downtown intersection a little easier.
We're sure that the police and the city judge won't be excessive in enforcing the law. But we hope they do enforce it. The city needs to get the point across that safety is concern No. 1 in Havre.