Although distracted driving is a leading cause of preventable injury and
death on American roadways, Texas remains one of the few U.S. states without
a statewide distracted driving ban for all motorists. Instead, Texas enforces
a number of distracted driving laws that affect a small group of drivers.
- Cell phone ban and texting ban for bus drivers
- Cell phone ban and texting ban for novice drivers
- Handheld phone ban and texting ban in school zones
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA),
44 states ban text messaging for all drivers and 14 states ban the use
of handheld cell phones. These laws have helped in reducing the number
of distraction-affected traffic crashes. Because Texas lacks similar legislation,
many cities across the state have taken it into their own hands to pass
distracted driving ordinances.
In November of last year, San Antonio joined Austin in outlawing handheld
cell phones for phone calls and other uses while behind the wheel.
San Antonio's amended ordinance officially took effect on January 1
Under the ban, all motorists within San Antonio will be:
- Prohibited from using a handheld phone to make calls, text, email, access
the internet, or otherwise use the device.
- Prohibited from using a handheld phone when stopping in traffic or at red
lights / stop signs.
- Allowed to use hands-free accessories, such as Bluetooth.
Drivers who violate the ban will face a $200 fine, although law enforcement
will give a 30-day grace period before fining drivers. The ordinance also
stipulates that ordinance violations will not be reflected on a motorist's
driving or insurance records.
At Tom Rhodes Law Firm P.C., we believe the new amended ordinance will
help improve safety on San Antonio roadways. Distracted driving is considered
a national epidemic, and drivers who cause accidents and injuries while
using cellphones or other devices can be held accountable for the damages
If you have questions about your rights after an auto accident, our personal
injury lawyers are available to provide a free initial consultation.
Contact our firm today to discuss your case!