A statewide ban on texting while driving is now in effect.
Here’s what you need to know:
- The law applies to people who are using their cellphones for reading, writing or sending a text message while driving.
- It is not a violation to be using/looking at a cellphone when stopped at a red light. This is because when stopped you are not considered to be “operating a vehicle.” However, if an officer sees you continue texting as you start moving you will be pulled over.
- You may use your cellphone for music and GPS navigation, although you are still liable to be pulled over as officers may suspect you of texting.
- Using a cellphone to report an emergency is okay under the law.
- If you are caught texting while driving you could face a fine of up to $99 for the first offense. If you have been previously convicted then the fine could be up to $200.
According to the Texas Department of Transportation one in five crashes involves driver distraction, let’s hope this new law makes our roads safer.