The idea cam several years ago from the city's Bicycle Advisory Committee, of which former Mayor and Commissioner Dave Walters is chairman (at the time the law was approved). The committee, including current Commissioner Kaytee Faris, brought research and ideas to city staff to draft the ordinance.
Cyclists are in the unique position to more frequently see into vehicles, and notice when drivers are using cell phones. This is a safety concern for cyclists, pedestrians, and other drivers.
The new ordinance is viewed as more enforceable than the state law, as it is difficult to prove that someone was texting while driving, as opposed to scrolling through Facebook or browsing the internet. The ordinance addresses a broader variety of activities that take drivers' attention away from the road.
The City Commission introduced the ordinance on Jan. 22, 2019, and voted it into law on Feb. 5, 2019.