Arlington texting while driving ban enforced

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by JIM DOUGLAS

Bio | Email | Follow: @wfaajdouglas

WFAA

Posted on November 25, 2011 at 7:56 PM

ARLINGTON - Driving on South Cooper Street can be scary enough with both hands on the wheel. We spotted at least one driver in heavy traffic who appeared to be texting, too.

It makes some other drivers angry enough to send their own reply messages.

"In fact," said Max Becker, "I let people know when I see them by honking."

As of Friday, Arlington police officers might do more than honk.

They began enforcing the city's recent ban on texting while driving. It's a $200 ticket. You might wonder how they'll enforce it, but they don't.

They will watch to see if drivers are looking down, using their phone keypads for long periods.

"The only thing the officer can do is ask if they were texting, and if they say, 'No I wasn't,' we can ask to see your phone," said officer Cornelius Gibson. "They have the right to say no."

But he says police will make their point.

"If we feel like they were texting, it's up to them to take it to court to appeal the citation," he said.

Most drivers we talked to are all for a ban on texting behind the wheel, although one said she waited until she was stopped a red light to text. Police say that, too, is now illegal.

The ban also covers tweeting and e-mailing, but not dialing.

E-mail jdouglas@wfaa.com

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