Austrian City Orders Commuters to Keep Cell Phones on Silent Mode

Europe may be the world's most connected continent, but it is developing a real hang-up over the ubiquitous cell phone.

Austria's second-largest city of Graz has ordered public transit commuters to keep their phones on silent mode. Graz is following the lead of France's national railway, which offers phone-free "zen zones" on high-speed trains.

The crackdown has triggered a debate between advocates of free speech and people who say they are fed up with having to listen to annoying ring tones and intrusive cell phone chatter.

Graz Mayor Siegfried Nagl told Austrian television Thursday he is determined to make sure commuters can ride in peace if they wish.