Few Texting-and-Driving Tickets So Far in Arlington

Police say texting law is still having an impact

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    Arlington police officers have issued just four citations in the nearly two months since the city began enforcing its texting-and-driving ban.

    But police say the law is having an effect.

    Texting and Driving Law Helps in Other Ways

    [DFW] Texting and Driving Law  Helps in Other Ways
    Texting while driving ban helps police zero in on other cell phone violators. (Published Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2012)

    Arlington police spokeswoman Tiara Ellis Richard said drivers understand that they are liable to be stopped if they are using a cellphone for anything besides making a call. That in itself seems to have caused drivers to rethink whether or not to text and drive, she said.

    Meanwhile, officers have used a mix of verbal warnings and education efforts during traffic stop.

    Arlington Enforces Texting-While-Driving Ban

    [DFW] Arlington Enforces Texting-While-Driving Ban
    Arlington police have started enforcing an ordinance that bans every use of cellphone behind the wheel other than talking. (Published Friday, Nov. 25, 2011)

    "We've continued the education phase even into the enforcement phase, and a part of that is just talking to people and helping them understand and hopefully making a difference and getting people to change their driving habits and be safer on the roadways," Richard said.

    But the ordinance presents some challenges.

    Police to Enforce Arlington Texting Ban

    [DFW] Police to Enforce Arlington Texting Ban
    Arlington will begin enforcing on Friday its ordinance banning every use of a cellphone other than talking. (Published Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2011)

    "When it comes to enforcing this law, it's a matter of taking advantage of what an officer sees," Richard said.

    But officers have noticed other cellphone and driving violations since the ban went into effect Nov. 25. Police said they've issued 22 citations for the use of cellphones in school zones, a state law that was on the books well before the texting ban.

    "I think it's important to show that our officers are just checking for cellphone use, period," Richard said. "Officers want to make sure that your eyes are on the road, and if you're consciously talking or looking at a cellphone, then you're not fully aware of what you're doing when you're driving."