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2017-08-31

Texting and driving ban in effect Sept. 1

Contributed by Bandera County Farm Bureau

It’s time to put down your phone and drive. Beginning Sept. 1, it will be illegal to read or send text messages, post on Facebook or update Twitter while behind the wheel of a moving vehicle.
“This law was put in place to save lives,” Barbara Mazurek, Bandera County Farm Bureau president, said. “A study from Texas A&M University shows 90 lives a year could be saved by this law.”
Drivers caught texting while a vehicle is in motion are subject to fines of up to $100.
“Sometimes drivers forget we're operating thousand-pound machines that have the ability to hurt not only us, but others,” Barbara said. “It’s our responsibility as drivers to ensure we follow this law for the safety of everyone.”
Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott signed the bill, dubbed the Alex Brown Memorial Act, into law on June 6. The bill was named for a 17-year-old high school student who died in a car wreck while texting.
Under the new law, drivers are not allowed to read, write or send electronic messages while operating a moving vehicle. Texting, posting to social media and using applications like WhatsApp are prohibited through the new law.
Drivers are still allowed to make and receive calls unless prohibited by a municipality. Use of Bluetooth or other hands-free devices is allowed and encouraged.
Use of a phone navigation system and music applications are allowed. The law permits reporting accidents and other obstructions through the Waze app.