Texas lawmakers skip over cell phone restrictions

| Thursday, June 12, 2003

Texas state lawmakers failed to pass two bills before the regular session ended earlier this month that would have required drivers to keep their hands off the phone.

The proposals would have banned hand-held cell phone use while driving. Talking on a phone equipped with a “hands-free” device would still be permitted.

Under HB624, sponsored by Rep. Jose Menendez, D-San Antonio, a driver stopped for using a hand-held phone could be fined up to $100. It exempted emergency calls.

Rep. Paul Moreno, D-El Paso, sponsored HB281, which essentially was a blanket ban on drivers using hand-held phones.

Currently, New York has the only statewide law restricting cell phone use in vehicles.