The Police Department does digital and ink rolled fingerprinting-- digital fingerprints for residents and non-residents and ink-rolled for residents only. Both are done by appointment only on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2 PM to 4 PM. Please call Margaret Hamilton, Police Information Specialist, at 216-491-1249, 24 hours in advance, to schedule an appointment. Fingerprints will be completed by cash payment only (no checks, credit cards or debit cards accepted). A government issued picture ID must be presented, along with a social security number. The following are the fees:
Residents: $30 BCI & I check; $30 FBI check; and $60 for both (digital/electronic)
Non-residents: $35 BCI & I check; $35 FBI check; and $70 for both (digital/electronic)
City Council enacted legislation to prohibit the use by all drivers, except in certain limited circumstances, of hand-held (including lap-held) electronic communications devices, including cell phone use for phone calls and texting.
First, the City’s Safety and Public Works Committee discussed the proposal at its public meetings on September 18 and October 16, 2013. The Committee voted at the October meeting to recommend that Council enact the ordinance banning cell phone use while driving as proposed.
The legislation was introduced at the City Council meeting on October 28, 2013 with a presentation by staff, and was placed on first reading. The legislation was discussed again on January 27, 2014 on second reading. It was adopted on third reading at the Council meeting on February 24, 2014 after a presentation and discussion.
All three Council meetings provided the public an opportunity to comment on the legislation. In addition, a press release, issued on January 17, 2014, announced the January Council meeting and that the proposed ordinance would be discussed. A Mayor’s E-News sent out on February 18, 2014 made a similar announcement. Council members and the public wrote in many questions and comments to the City, and 14 4th graders at Fernway wrote letters to the Mayor on the proposed ordinance.
The agendas and minutes of the meetings of the Safety and Public Works Committee and City Council are posted on the City’s website. Likewise, the ordinance as enacted is also posted.
The City's previous law, and the State of Ohio's current traffic laws, prohibit texting for all drivers, but treat it as a secondary offense for drivers 18 years of age and older. This means that an adult driver may not be stopped for the sole purpose of determining compliance with the texting ban or to ticket the driver for violating the ban. For adults, a violation of the texting ban is a minor misdemeanor, which carries a maximum fine of $150. (Section 1133.10 Cod. Ord.; and Section 4511.204 Ohio Revised Code.)
The City prohibited and the State prohibts any cell phone use by minors with a temporary driving permit or probationary license. In addition to a violation being a minor misdemeanor, a violator is subject to a 60-day license/permit suspension. (Section 1135.032 Cod. Ord.; and Section 4511.205 Ohio Revised Code.)
Yes, there are a number of places that now prohibit texting and talking on a hand-held cellphone while driving. Examples of these are: the city of Beachwood, locally, and 11 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In addition many countries around the world have banned cellphone use while driving.
There are two dangers associated with driving and cellphone use, including text messaging and using the Internet, jeopardizing the safety of vehicle occupants and pedestrians. First, drivers must take their eyes off the road and hands off the wheel to manipulate the devices when dialing, texting and surfing the Web. Second, people can become so absorbed in their conversations and other uses that their ability to concentrate on the act of driving is severely impaired. This includes time spent at a traffic signal, when a driver’s conversation may distract him or her from noticing the light changing or oncoming traffic. The latest research shows that using a cellphone when driving is just one of many types of distracted driving that may lead to crashes and near crashes. However, the distractions associated with cellphone use while driving are far greater than other distractions. Conversations using a handheld cellphone take one hand off of the steering wheel for an extended period of time, and they demand greater continuous concentration, which diverts the driver’s eyes from the road and his or her mind from driving.
In 2011, the five members of the National Transportation Safety Board unanimously recommended that all states should ban all driver use of cellphones and other portable electronic devices, except in emergencies.
The newly enacted ordinance prohibits the use of a hand-held “electronic wireless communications device” in any manner for composing, sending, or receiving text messages or using such a device to dial, answer, talk or listen.
An electronic wireless communications device includes:
(1) A wireless telephone; (2) A text-messaging device; (3) A personal digital assistant (PDA); (4) A computer, including a laptop computer and a computer tablet; (5) Any other similar wireless device that communicates text.
Yes, exceptions to the prohibition are included in the ordinance for:
(1) Emergencies: to contact law enforcement, hospital, health care provider, fire department,or other similar emergency agency or entity.
(2) Public safety and public service vehicles operated by government employees.
(3) A person using the device while:
a. stationary and outside the lane of travel, b. legally parked, or c. stopped due to the inoperability of the vehicle.
(4) Commercial trucks using a mobile data terminal.
(5) Voice-operated or hands-free device which allows the driver to maintain both hands on the steering wheel, such as a GPS system, or when controls are located on the steering wheel itself. A "voice-operated or hands-free device” allows the user to vocally compose, send, or listen to a text-based message without the use of either hand except to activate or deactivate a feature or function from the device (if mounted safely within the car).
Among City employees, only Police Officers, Fire Fighters and Public Works Department employees will be exempt from the ban to any extent. The Police and Fire employees will be exempt only while driving safety vehicles (e.g. police cars, fire trucks and EMS vehicles). Public Works employees will be exempt only when driving a public service vehicle (e.g. snow plow, truck, supervisor’s car, etc.).
These three departments already have work rules limiting personal cellphone use while on duty. Safety workers use various communications devices when necessary in their duties. Some Public Works employees use 2-way radios in their vehicles which are needed for performing their duties while plowing snow, reacting to potholes, etc.
Except within these very narrow exceptions, all City employees, including the Mayor and Council members, will be subject to the cellphone ban in both their private cars and if they drive a city car.
The prohibition on the use of handheld cellphones while driving is a primary offense, meaning a police officer could stop and ticket a driver for using a handheld cellphone without observing or citing for any other offense.
A violation has the same potential penalty as most traffic violations cited under the City’s Ordinances. A violation would be a first-degree misdemeanor, with a potential maximum penalty of $1,000 fine and 6 months in jail. Two points would be assessed to the person’s driving record. Tickets would be waiverable, or drivers could contest a ticket in court.
Virtually all traffic laws in the City for moving violations have carried the same potential penalty (i.e. 1st degree misdemeanor) since at least 1980; this includes speeding, failing to obey traffic control devices like stop lights and signs, illegal u-turns, not stopping for school buses, not paying full time and attention to driving, driving under suspension, lack of license plate, and unsafe vehicle laws such as tail or head lights being out. The Municipal Court judge determines the penalty to apply for each case within the law.
The ordinance will be effective 30 days after passage (i.e. March 26, 2014), and after that a “warning period” of 60 days will be instituted (through May 25, 2014), during which officers will present warnings to drivers in violation of the ordinance rather than issuing tickets.
The law does not address methods used to mount a phone. Such devices should be used in a way that does not block visibility and which allows the driver to maintain both hands on the steering wheel except to activate or deactivate a feature or function. This includes use of a Bluetooth earpiece.
The Police will handle cell phone violations in the same way as any other traffic violation. The driver will have the right to contest a violation in court. In rare circumstances, a police officer could seize a phone, in the same way that a vehicle could be impounded during a traffic stop. If a police officer asks to see the phone or determines that it should be seized, all of the constitutional protections afforded the telephone owner under the law will be respected prior to any examination of a phone log or seizure of the actual telephone.
Violations of certain City laws (i.e. ordinances) at a residential or commercial property may be declared nuisances if they are enegage in by (a) the owner, (b) any occupant, or (c) any guest of the owner or any occupant. If the Police find that two or more violations occur within an 18-month period, the owner may be sent a notice declaring the property a "nuisance," and then after a third violation, the Police may send a notice and charge police response costs for the third and any subsequent violation within 18 months. "Chapter 109 C.O.)
Yes, the owner may file an appeal with the Chief of Police for any notice sent under this law within 30 days of the date of the notice. If the Chief determines the facts do not support the declaration of nuisance, the Chief will rescind the notice. If the Chief finds that the facts do support the declaration, the Board of Appeals will hear the appeal. An appeal will not stop the City from taking enforcement action or pursuing criminal prosecution.
On appeal, in order to overturn the nuisance declaration, the owner must show that:
He/she was not the owner at the time of any one of the nuisance activities
He/she had knowledge of the nuisance activity, but took action to stop the activity from occurring
He/she had no knowledge, but as soon as he/she received notice, the owner took action to stop it from happening again.