story updated 8:40 p.m.
GRAND PRAIRIE (CBSDFW.COM) – On Tuesday evening the Grand Prairie City Council unanimously voted to approve an ordinance making it illegal to text and drive in the city.
The council passed the ordinance banning texting, emailing, surfing the Internet or using social media while behind the wheel – even when waiting at a red light or a stop sign.
“Last year alone, 71 accidents occurred do to driver distraction, very often because they were texting,” said city spokesperson Amy Sprinkles. The ordinance also states there were more than 10,000 distracted driving crashes statewide.
WATCH: GRAND PRAIRIE POLICE CHIEF STEVE DYE DISCUSS TEXTING & DRIVING BAN:
Police will begin to enforce the ordinance at the end of a 90-day grace period, so a public awareness campaign can inform residents about the new law. Tickets for violating the ordinance could cost up to $200 per violation.
“Everybody knows they shouldn’t text and drive. We don’t always follow that advice ourselves because we think everything is so important and we are so busy. You are never too busy to save a life,” said Sprinkles.
In 2011, Arlington became the first North Texas city to ban texting while driving.
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