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Austin already has a ban on texting behind the wheel, but phones these days are labeled "smart" for a reason — they can text, tweet,  Snapchat and steer drivers toward a plethora other distracting drive-time activities.

But now the city is asking for advice on possible changes to its distracted driving ordinance. And it could adopt an all-encompassing ban on mobile phone use behind the wheel, including a ban on hands-free devices.


A bill that would ban texting while driving in Texas is scheduled to be heard on the House floor today.

The bill, filed by state Rep. Tom Craddick (R-Midland), would make it a misdemeanor to text behind the wheel – with a fine of $100 for the first offense and $200 after that.

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Texas lawmakers will try again this Legislative session to outlaw texting and driving. 

Lawmakers voted to criminalize texting while driving statewide in 2011, but Governor Rick Perry vetoed that bill before it became law.

Flickr user Jim Legans, Jr., bit.ly/Wl5ila

Drivers are all familiar with safety messages like "Don't Drink and Drive," or "Don't Text and Drive." And while those are two of the biggest risks to avoid while driving, there's another dangerous practice rising behind the wheel: "webbing,” or using the internet while driving.

A new study shows surfing while driving can easily lead to car accidents, injuries and death, since it takes a driver attention away from the task at hand: driving. 

Here's an experiment you can try. But please be the scientist and not the test subject.

Watch people cross the street and note whether they're yakking on the phone, texting or bopping to tunes while they do it. If you're really ambitious, time how long it takes them to cross.

This past summer researchers from the University of Washington did it. They watched more than 1,100 pedestrians at the 20 intersections in Seattle that racked up the most pedestrian injuries over the last three years.