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Texas Cell Phone Laws: Recent Changes

A lot of people like to multitask. People watch T.V. while folding laundry or listen to music while working out at the gym. Among all the many ways to multitask, there are a few that you should be cautious about. First of all, it is essential that you do not try distracting multitasking techniques when you are in the car and behind the wheel. It is distracting enough to drive and talk or drive and listen to music at the same time. When drivers decide to talk on their cell phones or text their friends while behind the wheel, they are putting themselves in grave danger.

They are also becoming a risk to the thousands of other drivers out on the road. According to Hands Free Info, Texas may join the 39 other states that have cell phone restrictions when it comes to driving. Rep. Tom Craddick is already drafting bills which would make texting behind the wheel and illegal and ticket-worthy offense.

Some lawmakers are backing a bill which bans texting in honor of Alex Brown, a teenager who died in a texting and driving tragedy in 2010. According to lawmakers in the area, the texting and driving statutes in Texas are loose, and enforcement is very lenient. State politicians insist that the government needs to enforce these laws with stricter regulations and harsher penalties if they want to create a statewide ban on text messaging. One city, El Paso, has a handheld cell phone law and they have issued more than 15,000 tickets in the past two years as a result. Amarillo has also banned texting and handheld cell phone use by all drivers within the city limits, but the efforts have not yet been enforced.

In the state of Texas, distracted driving is the third most likely cause for an accident. This is why the Texas Department of Transportation supports creating new laws for drivers that will help to eliminate this kind of behavior. Currently, drivers are not allowed to use wireless communication in the car if they are under the age of18. This means that texting or talking on the phone under any circumstances is illegal. Even when using a blue tooth or a speaker phone, these minors can be issued a ticket. As well, learners permit holders in the state of Texas are not allowed to use handheld cell phones in the car for the first six months of driving.

As well, school bus operators are not allowed to use handheld cell phones in any capacity if there are children in the bus that they are divers. All drivers are prohibited from using handheld devices when in school crossing zones. In addition, the cities of Stephenville, Dallas, San Antonio, Amarillo, Galveston, El Paso, Missouri City, and the Canyon have all enacted local distracted driving laws. This year, there are a variety of different cell phone driving bills that may be enacted if the legislation sees fit to do so. Among these is a statute that would ban drivers from suing wireless communication in a car unless the vehicle is in park. Only hands free operation would be allowed.

Another potential law may ban text messaging on handheld cell phones unless the texts are being sent hands free. Senate Bill 29 suggests that Texans should not be allowed to use a wireless device to read, write, or send any messages while a car is mobile. Another ruling increases text messaging fines if the driver is in a school zone. Out on remote roads, however, the fines for texting can be as little as $2. If you want more information about texting and driving laws in Texas, or want to battle a citation that you received, then talk to an attorney at the Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC today for more information!