Arlington Considers Citywide Behind-The-Wheel Cell Phone Ban

ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM/KRLD) – Arlington Mayor Robert Cluck says the city council has approved coming up with a new ordinance that would ban texting while driving and only allow behind-the-wheel cell phone calls if the driver has a hands-free device.

“This is an attempt just to stop the frivolous stuff, ya know, like sending e-mails or text messages, or even calling somebody you have to look down at your keyboard,” explained the mayor.

Cluck says the city isn’t trying to keep people from using their phones in an emergency. “What we want is for people not to talk, or text, or look at texts, and only use the phone if you have a hands-free device because distracted driving causes lots of accidents.”

In 2009 alone, distracted drivers caused more than 100,000 Texas crashes, including 408 fatalities. Cluck says accidents are a likely result if drivers aren’t paying attention to the road. “It only makes sense, because when you’re talking or looking at your cell phone you’re more likely to be distracted and there’s just no reason for that.”

Lawmakers in Austin are considering a similar statewide ban on texting while driving and car cell phone use. “It’s probable that the state is going to impose their own rules,” said Cluck. “If they include everything we want then we’ll go by their rules.”

Arlington officials will have to decide on what penalties to impose before any final votes on the ordinance are taken.

  • Arlington Considers Citywide Behind-The-Wheel Cell Phone Ban « Fort Worth News Feeds

    […] Arlington Considers Citywide Behind-The-Wheel Cell Phone Ban The Arlington city council has approved coming up with a new ordinance that would ban texting while driving and only allow behind-the-wheel cell phone calls if the driver has a hands-free device. Go to News Source […]

  • les

    i see a lot of people that can’t get away from their cell phone just to do business at a store .i would hate to think that i couldn’t live without these devices. as for texting while driving it’s just nut’s . they put everyone in danger around them .i don’t know they are going to enforce this with police officer’s doing the same thing. i believe that causing an accident while using these devices should have the same penelty as dwi .

    • CHB

      Yes what would these poor people do if the system ever crashed and there was no service! Good police departments have SOP’s that forbid using cell phones while on duty! I agree that the fine’s should be very high and maybe thta will stop repeat offenders……..but probably not!

  • CHB

    Texas should be a “hands free only state” even then people will still use their phones for texting and calls and sending emails! Too many people have been in accidents and died while texting and driving. Being hands free will not solve the problem but it will help. If you just can’t wait to view that message or you need to send a message then pull over in a parking lot or rest area to take care of it!! It is not worth getting into a wreck.

  • COP

    I see APD frequently using their cell phones while behind the wheel of their patrol cars. Will citizens be able to enforce the same ordinance if police officers are spotted by COP-Citizens on Patrol using their cells while operating a public vechicle without using a hands-free device? This is not a way to prevent accidents, that is what the red light cameras were suppose to do for our community. Has that worked? This is just a polictical way to find additonal revenue for the city.

  • RussP

    Glad to see one of our cities considering what the state didn’t have the courage to do. With the increased speed limits and the lousy drivers, we really need to get back to both hands on the wheel which I thought was the law.

  • itsalip

    Anything can be a distraction while driving. Maybe we should quit eating and reading also! Reading billboards while driving down the street is dangerous too!

    • RussP

      Absolutely! Eating, reading, putting on makeup, anything that takes your hands off the wheel, eyes off the road and mind off the driving should not be done while hurling a 3000+ pound car down the highway at 60 or 70 mph. It the most dangerous thing most people will ever do yet it’s treated like it’s an easy task needing little skill, knowledge or attention.

  • Erik Wood

    I think legislation has value in raising public awareness in forums like this one but it will be difficult to solely legislate our way out of this issue. I just read that 72% of teens text daily – many text more 4000 times a month. New college students no longer have email addresses! They use texting and Facebook – even with their professors. This text and drive issue is in its infancy and its not going away.

    I decided to do something about distracted driving after my three year old daughter was nearly run down right in front of me by a texting driver. Instead of a shackle that locks down phones and alienates the user (especially teens) I built a tool called OTTER that is a simple GPS based, texting auto reply app for smartphones. It also silences call ringtones while driving unless you have a bluetooth enabled. I think if we can empower the individual then change will come to our highways now and not just our laws.

    Erik Wood, owner
    OTTER app

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