(Photo by Scott Welton, Staff)
SIKESTON -- The Sikeston Department of Public Safety now has everything in place to enforce laws regulating tinted glass in vehicles.
During the regular City Council meeting Monday, council members approved a bill establishing sun tinted glass specifications for motor vehicles operated within the city.
The ordinance is "a mirror of the state law," according to DPS Director Drew Juden, but enables the city to collect the fine when a citation is written instead of sending it off to the county or state.
DPS recently acquired a sun screen testing unit which th department can now use to enforce the ordinance, Juden said.
Juden also discussed with the Council the possible development of a municipal regulation restricting the use of cell phones while operating a motor vehicle in the city.
After "extensive research," he has found no Missouri cities that have prohibited or restricted cell phone usage so far.
Juden said, however, that "just to be using a cell phone itself is a distraction, whether it's hands-free or not."
The number of accidents that have occurred due to cell phone usage is not tracked, however, as it is included among inattention statistics.
Councilman Sue Rogers said she doesn't know what could be so important that a phone call would be needed while driving.
"What did people do 5-10 years ago when there weren't cell phones? We survived," she said.
Mayor Mike Marshall suggested the discussion on cell phones while driving be kept on the agenda to gather input from the public.
Juden suggested the topic may would be a good subject for a newspaper poll.
Council also discussed with Juden the possible development of a municipal regulation by which the city would impound vehicles used in association with drug violations when they occur within 1,000 feet of municipal parks or schools.
Juden said there is no city in the state with such an ordinance. Most impounds follow an arrest, he said.
There is imminent state legislation that would impose stricter penalties for drug offenses within 1,000 feet of a park as is the case for schools and public housing, Juden noted.
City Manager Doug Friend said officials are hoping their discussion of the idea will end up "stimulating community thought and response."