Could S.A.’s Ban be Trumped by State’s Texting While Driving Law?

By Pilar Arias

It’s been less than three years since San Antonio’s hands-free ordinance has been on the books but state law could soon trump local police efforts.

Gov. Greg Abbott just signed into law a statewide texting while driving ban effective Sept. 1, but he wants legislators to look over it during this summer’s special session so it might pre-empt any city and county laws.

San Antonio Police Department Jesse Salame said officers have issued nearly 5,800 citations this year and they come at a steep price.

“You’re going to get a $200 fine, not to mention the ultimate consequence, which is you lose your life or you seriously injure yourself or you cause serious injury or loss of life to somebody else,” Salame said.

San Antonio’s ordinance is different from state law because it is truly hands free. People should not be using mobile devices in their hands at all while operating a moving vehicle to text, email, make phone calls, play music or use GPS services, unless the mobile device is mounted.

For more information on San Antonio’s hands-free ordinance, click here https://www.sanantonio.gov/portals/0/Files/SAPD/Hands-Free-Ordinance-2015.pdf

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