Phone-Related Driving Laws Designed to Protect North Texas Drivers
Several driving laws affect the way we behave behind the wheel. The majority of emerging laws and ordinances share a common focus: cell phone use. Since there are significant differences between laws from state-to-state and even county-to-county, it is critical that drivers stay aware of which laws apply where they live, work and drive. Reynolds and Reynolds Law Firm has broken down a list of phone-related driving legislation in North Texas to help drivers stay safe on the road.
- Perhaps the most notable legal action concerning texting and driving is the statewide texting and driving ban effective September first of this year. Though some counties have already enacted this law, the new ban will affect the entire state of Texas. Officials are optimistic that equal practice throughout the state will help to increase driver compliance.
- The second set of statewide ordinances governs new drivers and those under the age of 18. The law prohibits drivers with learners permits from using handheld cell phones for the first six months of driving. Additionally, drivers under 18 cannot use any wireless communications device.
- School zones are another major area of concern when it comes to distracted driving. Currently, the law prohibits drivers from texting and using any other handheld device while in a school zone.
- The last statewide law prohibits school bus drivers from using their cell phones while driving if there are children present.
It is prudent to be aware of all phone-related driving ordinances in your state; however, don’t forget that after September 1st, the other laws and ordinances above may fall under the umbrella of no texting and driving at all.
- North Texas cities including Lake Dallas and Little Elm have enacted entirely hands-free ordinances. Click here for a full list of Texas cities that have also passed this law.
- Denton, Texas has been the target of a variety of phone-related driving laws over the last decade. Currently, Denton has enacted a hands-free ordinance. However, this was recently updated to outline more specific details regarding phone use. For example, the new ordinance states that cell phones may be touched only to answer or end a call, and to start or stop navigation assistance when the car is stopped. The only exception to this rule is in the case of emergency situations, in which case a cell phone may be used to contact the proper authorities.
The most important piece of advice for drivers everywhere is to completely refrain from using your cell phone when driving a car. Resisting the urge to use a handheld device behind the wheel reduces the number of distracted drivers on the road and keeps drivers and pedestrians safer. If you need to talk on the phone or use your phone’s GPS system or map while driving, it’s imperative to invest in a 100% hands-free device. Waiting to use your phone until you are sitting at a red light is not an acceptable alternative. We recommend purchasing a Bluetooth headset or a phone mount for your dashboard. Most smartphones are equipped with voice activation, like Siri or Google Assistant, giving you the opportunity to update your route or make a call while keeping your hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.
Reynolds & Reynolds Law Firm | Driving Laws | 972-684-5011