Texas: Texting While Driving

Texas/City Ordinance Laws
There is no national ban on texting or using a cell phone while driving, but some states have passed laws to ban texting and the use or cell phones, or require the use of hands-free technology while using cell phones while driving. Currently, no state bans all cell phone use for all drivers.

 

Despite numerous studies showing the dangers of texting while driving, Texas is just one of four states (as of 2016) that does not have a statewide texting while driving ban in place. However, Texas does have some prohibitions in place regarding texting:

 

• Texas prohibits drivers with learner’s permits from using handheld cell phones in the first six months of driving.
• Drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited from using wireless communications devices.
• In school zones, all drivers are prohibited from texting and using handheld devices while driving.

 

64 cities throughout Texas currently have hands-free laws in place though two of the biggest cities, Dallas and Houston, do not. These cities have adopted at least one of three of these cell phone ordinances: ban on all uses of wireless communications devices while driving, ban on texting while driving, and/or a ban on texting and other manual uses of wireless communication devices while driving. Since cell phone ordinances may be adopted by cities at any time, it is important to check to see if your city has adopted an ordinance. Fines range from $200 to $500.

 

These are the current Texas cities with an ordinance in place:

 

• Alamo
• Alice
• Amarillo
• Aransas Pass
• Argyle
• Arlington
• Austin
• Bedford
• Bee Cave
• Bellaire
• Brownsville
• Buda
• Canyon
• Conroe
• Converse
• Corpus Christi
• Deer Park
• Denton
• Edinburg
• El Paso
• Farmers Branch
• Galveston
• Grand Prairie
• Groesbeck
• Harlingen
• Helotes
• Jacksonville
• Kyle
• Laguna Vista
• Lake Dallas
• Lakeway
• Laredo
• Little Elm
• Magnolia
• Maypearl
• McAllen
• Meadowlakes
• Midland
• Mission
• Missouri City
• Mount Vernon
• Nacogdoches
• New Braunfels
• Palmview
• Pampa
• Penitas
• Richwood
• Rowlett
• San Angelo
• San Antonio
• San Juan
• San Marcos
• Schertz
• Shoreacres
• Sinton
• Snyder
• Stephenville
• Sweetwater
• Tomball
• Universal City
• Watauga
• Westlake Hills
• West University Place
• Wimberly

 

Even if it is legal to text and drive in your city, please remember that it is dangerous to do so.