The problem with their ordinance is it violates state law. Idaho Code 49-1401A specifically gives an exception that allows texting while driving if done on a device that is capable of voice-to-text features. Language in a law is very important: This law does not require you to use this technology to send and receive your text, you simply have to be using a device that is capable of it and you are exempt from the texting-while-driving statute. The language of the code is unambiguous.
A local city or county can not pass a law that is more strict than a state statue already addressing the issue. In essence, they can’t make a state law stricter and take away more rights than the state has already outlined.
It is like they are trying to tell the state legislature, “We know you made this exception, but we don’t like it so we are going to overrule you in our city.” This is unlikely as it is illegal. They probably are just ignorant to the law as it is written.
But, never mind the law, Meridian, you do your own thing.
Idaho Code 49-1401A:
Texting, as that term is defined in subsection (1) of this section, while
driving a moving motor vehicle shall constitute an infraction provided
this does not apply to voice-operated or hands free devices
that allow the user to review, prepare and transmit a text message
without the use of either hand except to activate, deactivate or initiate a feature or function.