Texting While Driving

Austin
10:41 am
Mon September 1, 2014

How Will Austin Police Enforce the Hand-Held Device Ban?

The Austin City Council approved a ban on hand-held devices last week, which will take effect at the beginning of next year.
Credit via Xconomy

Starting in January, you won't be able to have your phone in your hands while driving your car, or while riding your bike.

The Austin City Council passed an ordinance Thursday prohibiting use of devices unless drivers are at a complete stop, or if there is an emergency. Those caught in the act by Austin police face a citation for a Class C misdemeanor, which carries a fine of up to $500 – though, the city has not yet finalized a fine structure for the ban.

While some studies suggest devices with hands-free capability doesn't necessarily reduce safety risk or increase reaction times, the move is an extension of the city's current ban on using devices while on the road. But what do Austin drivers think of the ban, and how Austin police plan to enforce it?

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Austin
10:32 am
Mon January 6, 2014

Teens Aren't the Only Drivers Distracted by Phones. Seniors Are, Too

A new study from State Farm Insurance found that drivers over 65 are nearly as likely to be on smartphones as their teenage counterparts.
Flickr.com/gaffney

Do you become uneasy when you see a clearly inexperienced driver behind the wheel? How about when you spot someone texting while driving?

It’s part of Patty Kelly’s job to know the latest dangerous driving trends. Kelly works for State Farm Insurance, and she learned something surprising from the company's latest study. 

“What we found out is that older adults are getting smart phones at an increasing rate, first of all. And with that they are getting on the Internet and doing all those distracting behaviors almost as much as teenagers are," Kelly says. 

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Austin
3:25 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Austin Youth Council Warns of Dangers of Texting While Driving

A teen attempts a texting-while-driving simulator. The Austin Youth Council is rasing awareness of the issue this weekend.
flickr.com/kentuckycountrydayschool

A group of Austin high school students is calling on fellow teens not to text and drive.

The Austin Youth Council is teaming up with AT&T to raise awareness about the dangers of driving while texting, with a car simulator that demonstrates how distracting texting can be.

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Health
1:23 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

Teens Who Text And Drive Often Take Other Risks

Dylan Young, then 18, posed for a photo as a vehicle cruised by North Arlington, N.J., in June 2012. Young was in a fender-bender accident caused by being distracted while texting and driving.
Julio Cortez AP

Originally published on Mon May 13, 2013 10:21 am

Almost half of teenagers cop to texting while driving. And those texting teens are more likely to make other risky moves while in the car, too.

That includes not wearing seat belts, drinking and driving, and riding with a driver who's been drinking, a study just published in the journal Pediatrics finds.

Car crashes have long been the leading cause of death for teenagers, even before texting entered the scene.

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2013 Legislative Session
9:03 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Texting Ban Moves to House Floor

Some Texas lawmakers are pushing for a statewide ban on texting while driving.
flickr.com/indyplanets

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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Public Safety
1:31 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

Americans More Distracted Behind The Wheel Than Europeans

A woman uses a cellphone while driving in Los Angeles in 2011.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Thu March 14, 2013 3:34 pm

U.S. drivers are much more likely than Europeans to drive while distracted, federal health officials report Thursday.

Nearly 69 percent of Americans who drive say that they talked on their cell phones while driving at least once in the previous month, according to a survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

That's a lot higher than what was reported by Europeans in another survey. Only 21 percent of British drivers reported chatting on their cell phones while behind the wheel, for example. In Germany and France it was about 40 percent.

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Politics
6:22 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Texas Texting Ban: Another Attempt

Felipa Rodrigues KUT

Texas lawmakers are taking a fresh look at a statewide ban on texting while driving, but the Governor may not be budging.

Members of the House Transportation Committee heard testimony today from people whose relatives were killed in crashes blamed on use of mobile phones.

There are concerns about enforcement.

A veteran Houston Police officer says he has no trouble seeing when someone is texting behind the wheel, but as it is now, he has to wait for the driver to do something more dangerous before he can make a stop.

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Texas
9:30 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Texas Lawmakers Renew Push on Statewide Texting and Driving Ban

The Alex Brown Memorial Act would ban texting while driving in Texas.
flickr.com/indyplanets

Texas lawmakers are trying again to pass a statewide law banning texting while driving. A similar measure passed in the Texas House and Senate last legislative session, but was vetoed by Gov. Rick Perry.

Today, Texas Rep. Tom Craddick’s House Bill 63 is getting its first public hearing. The bill is going before the House Committee on Transportation.

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Transportation
5:00 am
Mon February 11, 2013

Will a Texting and Driving Ban Make Texas Roads Safer?

via http://www.flickr.com/photos/indyplanets/

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.

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Public Safety
7:30 am
Wed January 30, 2013

Texas Lawmakers, Families Push for Texting While Driving Ban

Jeanne Brown shares the story of daughter's texting and driving death.
KUT News

State lawmakers gathered Tuesday at the Capitol in support of a bill that would outlaw texting while driving. 

Both Senate Bill 28 and House Bill 63 would ban all forms of cell phone use while driving a vehicle—including texting, emailing and talking. This is the second attempt at a texting ban for both State Sen. Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo) and State Rep. Tom Craddick (R-Midland). Gov. Rick Perry vetoed the last attempt in 2011

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