Statewide texting while driving ban goes into effect

Statewide texting while driving ban goes into effect

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - Hundreds of new state laws went into effect Friday in Texas including a ban on texting while driving. Supporters of this bill hope it will make the roads safer.

According to TxDOT, last year around 110,000 crashes involved distracted driving, 455 people were killed, and more than 3,000 were hurt.

This new law prohibits drivers from reading, writing or sending e-mails or texts while driving. Some cities, like Wichita Falls, have stricter ordinances.

"What officers don't want to see is people being so distracted with their heads down looking at their phone and not concentrating on driving the vehicle, so keeping your hands free so you can control the vehicle as well as keeping your eyes on the road and not down at the cell phone. That's the true intent on the law," Sgt. Harold McClure from Wichita Falls Police Department said.

Texas law already bans all cell phone use while driving, including hands-free, except in the case of emergencies for drivers who are under 18.

First-time violators could be fined up to $99 or $200 for a repeat offense. If you need to send a text or email its best if you pull over.

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