Texting ban closer to becoming law in Texas




Posted on April 11, 2011 at 4:46 PM

Updated Monday, Apr 11 at 5:48 PM

ARLINGTON - Texas is a step closer to banning text messages while driving.

The House voted for it on Monday, but some area cities are considering a tougher ban.

In Arlington, where police blame nearly nine out of every 10 accidents there on drivers being distracted or not paying attention.

"I just stopped and looked at it and the response was good," said Daniel Kim, driver.

Statistics show that using a cell phone while driving is one of the leading causes of accidents on roadways.

Arlington city council is considering a strict ban that would outlaw all handheld use in cars.

It is similar to ordinances in San Antonio and Austin which restricts sending and receiving test messages in the car, prohibit viewing pictures and ban playing games on your phone while you drive.

Arlington's ban takes it further than the state's proposal. It would allow hand-held conversations and the use of cell phone GPS. It is something industry experts say makes these ordinances virtually impossible to enforce.

"It's not effective, you don't know if they're texting a message, receiving a message, whether they're making a call, officers don't know that," said Carl Fors, transportation expert.

Arlington would still allow hands-free calls, but it is looking to join a handful of cities statewide getting tougher on drivers distracted while on the phone.

Email: ccivale@wfaa.com