April, 2017 – The Texas House has passed a bill that would prohibit texting while driving statewide. These bans already exist in several Texas counties, but there is not a statewide ban in effect—yet.
Many Texas cities already have a ban on using a handheld device while driving. Among these are at least two cities which are local to our law firm: Conroe and Magnolia. A more complete list of the cities with bans can be found on the Texas Department of Transportation site.
Also, keep in mind that some laws prohibit “texting”, but other laws prohibit using “handheld devices”. So, even if you are looking at your GPS, or checking to see who just called you, you may be in violation. Check out this link from the National Conference of State Legislatures for more information on specific state laws. And remember, even if there is not a statewide ban on certain behavior, a county or a city ordinance may prohibit it.
In addition, there are laws that relate to underage drivers using cell phones while driving, such as “drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited from using wireless communication devices,” and “drivers with learner’s permits are prohibited from using handheld cell phones in the first six months of driving.” (Texas Department of Transportation website).
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, one in five crashes involves driver inattention.