Austin approves cellphone ban for drivers; with some exceptions
In a recent blog post, we discussed the laws in Texas regarding talking on your cellphone while driving. As a follow-up, Austin has recently passed a law which will ban the use of any handheld device while driving.
Handheld devices obviously include cellphones but also any other tech gadget that one may use in the car. This law will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2015. Is this new law enough to put an end to auto accidents caused by talking on the cellphone or texting while driving?
The city council believes that this law is essential for limiting distractions while driving. Many drivers are already preoccupied with eating, drinking, grooming, or fidgeting with any number of dials or buttons on the dash. Newer cars especially have sophisticated radios and GPS systems to distract drivers.
It’s ultimately up to each individual driver to take personal responsibility and adhere to the laws. But, according to a spokesperson for the AAA, the organization supports the law and believes that it is a positive step. As the saying goes, every little bit helps.
It should be noted that the law does afford some exceptions to the rule. Motorists can still use a device that is hands-free. Devices may also be used when drivers are stopped such as at a stop sign or red light or when sitting in traffic and not moving. Hopefully, these exceptions provide motorists with enough flexibility in the law to engage in necessary use of their devices while still in the car and on the go.
Source: KEYE TV, “Cell phone ban may not reduce crashes,” Melanie Lofton, Aug. 29, 2014