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Texas Text Messaging – Distracted Driver Laws

If you are new to Texas or have just gotten your driver’s license and you love your smart phone, then you need to know the text messaging and distracted driver laws in the state. In the Lone Star State, there is no state-wide prohibition on cell phone or texting except for drivers in school zones, and novice drivers.

But there are some cities like Amarillo, Austin, El Paso and others where there are cell phone and texting prohibitions based on local ordinances.

On June 17 2011, Gov. Rick Perry vetoed the Legislature’s plan to ban text messaging for all drivers. With this veto it can be safely assumed that there won’t be a statewide ban on texting in the state of Texas until at least 2014.

At the time of vetoing, the Governor termed the distracted driving legislation as a “government effort to micromanage the behavior of adults.” He was of the view that instead of prohibiting the drivers, the right way to dissuade drivers of all ages from texting while driving is to inform and educate them of the huge risk distracted driving presents.

In the year 2011, the Texas Legislature deliberated on several bills aimed at prohibiting the use of handheld devices while driving. House Bill 242 said that a driver is restricted from reading, writing or sending a text-based communication while operating a motor vehicle. Only when the vehicle is at rest, can the driver indulge in these activities. The bill (HB 242) was approved by the Senate and House on May 29, 2011 and was vetoed on the 17th of June by the Governor Rick Perry. Had the bill passed, the law would have come in effect in September of 2011.

Texas teen drivers, cell phones and no texting locations

Any further legislation on texting and distracted driving is pending until the full Legislature returns in 2013. Till then there are the two distracted driving laws in effect in the state:

- Teen drivers are not allowed to use cell phones.
- All drivers in school crossing zones cannot use hand held phones.

Here are the detailed current prohibitions:

- Drivers under the age of 18 are not allowed to use wireless communications devices at all (calling or texting).
- Learners permit holders cannot use handheld cell phones until the time they have completed the first six months of driving.
- School bus drivers cannot use cell phones while driving if there are children riding in the bus.
- Drivers of all motor vehicles are not allowed to use handheld devices in school crossing zones.

Some Texas towns ban cell phone use

Even if there is no state level law, certain local municipalities have passed statutes directed at the use of cell phones while driving.

- In the city of Amarillo, the use of electronic devices while driving is banned.
- In Stephenville, motorists cannot text message or use cell phones while driving.
- In El Paso too, drivers are prohibited from texting and talking on cell phones while driving.
- In McAllen drivers are banned from text messaging and browsing the internet while behind the wheel.
- Alvin and Burnet have completely banned texting and cell phone use while driving through school zones.
- The cities of San Antonio and Missouri City have also issued a ban on texting while driving.

This is the present state of text messaging and distracted driver laws in Texas. We hope the information was useful for you!

InTexasAutoInsurance.com is the leading FREE insurance comparison portal serving the residents of the state. The site also acts as an information resource for people looking for state traffic laws like the text messaging and distracted driver laws in Texas.

If you are new to Texas or have just gotten your driver’s license and you love your smart phone, then you need to know the text messaging and distracted driver laws in the state. In the Lone Star State, there is no state-wide prohibition on cell phone or texting except for drivers in school zones, and novice drivers.

But there are some cities like Amarillo, Austin, El Paso and others where there are cell phone and texting prohibitions based on local ordinances.