City of Great Falls Cell Phone Restrictions
Ordinance 3090, the City's Cell Phone Ordinance has been in effect for over a year now. If you haven’t already, make sure you've purchased your hands free device if you plan on talking on the phone while driving.
This ordinance restricts the use of hand held communication devices within the city limits while operating a motorized vehicle or bicycle. Users will be able to talk on their phones, while in their car but must use a hands free device.
Frequently Asked Questions
Regarding the City of Great Falls
NEW Cell Phone Ordinance
When does the new Cell Phone Ordinance take effect?
The City’s Cell Phone Ordinance went into effect on August 2, 2012.
Will I be able to talk on my cell phone in my car once the ordinance is in effect?
The City of Great Falls electronic communication ordinance restricts the use of hand held communication devices within the city limits while operating a motorized vehicle or bicycle. Users will be able to talk on their phones, while in their car but must use a hands free device, like a blue tooth in order to do so.
What is a “hands free device?”
A “hands free device” is an external device that connects to a wireless telephone, wireless or electronic communication device that allows you to use your phone without the use of your hands.
Can I text while in my car?
While in a car in the city limits of Great Falls, you’ll only be able text if you are a passenger, or if you are in a parking lane or out of moving traffic.
Where does the ordinance apply?
The cell phone ordinance restricts usage on a public highway (streets) within the city limits of Great Falls.
Who does the ordinance apply to?
Regardless of whether or not you’re a Great Falls resident this ordinance applies to you if you plan to be driving within the City limits. This ordinance applies to residents and visitors alike.
I’ve heard there are some exceptions to driving and talking on a cell phone. What are they?
If you are reporting a health, fire, safety or police emergency you are able to make a phone call while driving. But, if you are stopped by a public safety officer for making the call and are cited, you may be asked to verify that an emergency call was made in court.
The ordinance does not apply to governmental fire agencies, law enforcement agencies, emergency responders and other authorized emergency vehicles.
What if I see someone talking on their phone – should I call in a complaint?
The City of Great Falls Police Department will not be investigating call in complaints. Violations will have to be witnessed by an officer and be officer initiated.
Does this ordinance restrict the use of GPS devices?
This ordinance specifically restricts the use of hand held GPS and navigational devices, such as those found in electronic communication devices (smartphones) that allows for communication to and from the user of the device. It does not restrict the usage of GPS devices that are not hand held and/or mounted or stationery in the vehicle.
Does the ordinance apply to two-way radios?
This ordinance does not apply to those using two-way radios for work purposes or for drivers who hold a valid amateur radio operator license issued by the FCC.
What happens if I get caught talking on my cell phone or texting while driving in Great Falls?
You could be fined a minimum of $100 or up to $500 depending on how the judge rules on your case.
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