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That next text message can wait.

Twin Falls’ citywide ban on text messaging and e-mailing while driving begins today, and police say they’re ready to enforce the new ordinance.

“We’re going to watch for violations and enforce it,” said Staff Sgt. Dennis Pullin.

Police may pull over drivers for texting while driving, needing no other reason for the stop and needing to see no sign of driving erratically.

The citation is $50 plus court costs, but if drivers are showing signs of dangerous driving, police officers may bump up the violation to inattentive driving, a $300 fine, or even reckless driving. All offenses are misdemeanor ones.

Emergency personnel are exempt from the new ordinance as many use on-board keyboards to perform their duties.

It is still legal to talk on phones while driving, look up phone numbers or use GPS devices.

The Twin Falls City Council approved the new ordinance during its Aug. 9 meeting.

Bradley Guire may be reached at bguire@magicvalley.com or 735-3380.

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