On May 7, the Denton City Council passed an ordinance banning texting while driving within the city limits. The city is the fourth in the area, after Arlington, Farmers Branch and Grand Prairie, to enact such a ban. The Lewisville Morning News reported that the ban is similar to the one enacted in Arlington in that it prohibits drivers from using a smartphone or cell phone for something other than a phone call.
Specifically, according to the article, the ban prohibits the use of “a wireless communication device to send, read, or write a text message, view pictures or written text, whether transmitted by Internet or other electronic means, engage in gaming or any other use of the device, besides dialing telephone numbers or talking to another person, while operating a motor vehicle.” However, the ordinance does not apply to drivers traveling on I-35, I-35E, I-35W or their access or frontage roads.
In addition, the ordinance provides an exception for drivers whose vehicles are stopped and out of traffic lanes, or in life-and-death emergencies. Also, drivers can use their phones for texting if it is done through hands-free methods such as voice activation.
Texas does not have a ban on texting and driving – it is one of only seven states in the nation without such a ban. Gov. Rick Perry vetoed a ban after the state legislature passed it in 2011. The Texas Department of Transportation reports that distracted drivers cause about 20 percent of traffic accidents in Texas, and 459 people died in distracted-driving accidents last year.
If you or someone close to you has been injured or killed in an automobile accident caused by texting while driving, the Todd R. Durham Law Firm may be able to help. Contact us online or call us at 214-222-4000 for a free consultation.