Cell Phone Ordinances: Fines, Restrictions, and Accident Prevention
We have all heard of the dangers of distracted driving and its impact on car accident statistics, but did you know that in the state of Texas, distracted driving behaviors such as talking on a cell phone can impact more than just your health and general well-being? Using your cell phone can impact your wallet, too.
While it is true that there is no statewide law that bans the use of a cell phone in the car, the state does enforce fines for anyone caught using a cell phone behind the wheel under prohibited circumstances. Although this is not a new concept across the nation, it is a practice that is strictly enforced and is intended to limit the amount of cell phone usage while driving throughout the state.
Fines and Restrictions
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) reports that 1 in 5 crashes involve driver distraction in some shape or form, highlighting the fact that drivers who use cell phones while in their cars pose a higher risk for collisions than those who drive without using their phones. In order to reduce the number of distracted-driving related crashes, the state imposes the following restrictions for cell phone usage on the road:
- No texting or talking on handheld devices in school zones;
- Bus drivers are not to use cell phones while in the presence of children while operating a vehicle;
- No driver under the age of 18 is to talk or text on a cell phone device at any time;
- During the first 6 months of driving, no driver with a learner permit may use a cell phone while driving; and
- Specific local restrictions by city - the Texas Legislative Council prohibits drivers in certain cities to use cell phones while driving. Consult the Texas Department of Transportation for a full list of these cities.
In addition to these restrictions, the state of Texas enforces fines that range from $200 to $500. That is no small chunk of change. The state urges drivers to wait to talk and keep their eyes on the road. Accident prevention begins with a proactive approach to cell phone usage. You can do a number of things to prevent cell-phone related crashes, including making your calls before you hit the road, turning your phone off before you start the engine, and using a hands-free device whenever possible, if it is imperative that you make a call while driving.
Despite efforts to prevent distracted driving accidents, some collisions are inevitable. If you are involved in a cell-phone related car crash, speak with an experienced New Braunfels car wreck attorney. Call the Bettersworth Law Firm at 830-606-0404 today for a free consultation.