lawmakers are pushing legislation that would require drivers to
keep their hands off the phone.
House State Affairs Committee heard testimony earlier this month
on two bills that would ban hand-held cell phone use while driving.
Talking on a phone equipped with a “hands-free” device would still
HB624, sponsored by state Rep. Jose Menendez, D-San Antonio, a driver
stopped for using a hand-held phone could be fined up to $100, or
up to $200 if the offense occurs within a school zone.
bill would exempt emergency calls.
Rep. Paul Moreno, D-El Paso, is sponsoring HB281, which essentially
is a blanket ban on drivers using hand-held phones.
Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, has filed a similar bill, SB390, regarding
cell phone use, but it has not been set for a hearing yet.
aren’t talking about banning cell phones,” Menendez told The
Dallas Morning News. “But can you be a safer operator while
operating your phone?”
phone use was tied to eight fatalities in the state in 2000, according
to the Texas Department of Public Safety. It was a contributing
factor in 716 accidents that year.
New York has the only statewide law restricting cell phone use in
vehicles, the newspaper reported.