What you need to know
The City of Manhattan prohibits the use of mobile devices within city limits, according to Ordinance. No. 6853. Drivers may not talk or listen on a cellphone while driving, effective July 1, 2010, unless the cellphone is configured for hands-free use. This is in addition to the Kansas state law that prohibits texting while driving.
The State of Kansas adopted a law that prohibits any person operating a motor vehicle on a public road or highway to write, send or read a written communication on a wireless communication device. A “wireless electronic communication device” is a device that provides voice or data communication between two or more parties. It includes cellphones, text messaging devices, PDAs and laptops. It does not include any device that is voice-operated and that allows the user to send or receive a text based communication without the use of either hand, except to activate or deactivate a feature or function.
The state’s law includes the following exemptions for text messages that have been amended into the local ordinance:
Law enforcement and emergency personnel acting within their employment
A vehicle stopped outside the regularly traveled roadway
Dialing a number for the purpose of making a call
Receiving emergency, traffic or weather alert messages
Receiving a message related to the navigation of the vehicle
The ordinance changes will also allow drivers to send text messages to stop illegal activity to law enforcement, prevent imminent injury to persons or property, or relay information between transit or for-hire operators and dispatchers, if the device is permanently affixed to the vehicle.