Denton Texting, Driving Ban Goes Into Effect

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The new city ordinance banning phone use for anything other than calls while driving takes effect Tuesday morning. (Published Monday, May 19, 2014)

    Denton's new city ordinance banning phone use for anything other than calls while driving takes effect Tuesday morning.

    City Transportation Director Mark Nelson said the ban does include any interaction with a phone, including texting, operating a GPS device or other apps, surfing the Internet, etc.

    "If you're picking your phone up, taking a look at it, photos or you've got a text, even navigational uses, than that would be considered a violation,” said Nelson.

    The use of Bluetooth or hands-free technology will still be allowed, as will talking on the phone and dialing a number.

    Also, the interstates that run through Denton will not be included in the ban to avoid confusion for drivers just passing through.

    The city adopted the ban just two weeks ago after a unanimous vote by the city council.

    Originally, some city leaders were calling for an all-out hand-held device ban while driving, but that was ultimately struck down.

    Citizens will be given a 30-day grace period before fines of up to $200 will be handed out for violations.

    Nelson said the city will also take that time to get accustomed to enforcement of the law, as well as produce educational materials to promote it, like social media postings, bumper stickers and interactions with local schools and universities.

    City leaders warn even texting at a red light could be considered a violation.

    Residents are urged to pull over into a parking lot or off the road before interacting with their phone.