Yesterday, the Austin City Council adopted a ban on drivers using hand held electronic devices, including cell phones. The ban, to go into effect on January 1, 2015, doe contain exceptions for hands-free devices and for 911 or other emergency calls. You can read more about the ban in this article by KXAN.
I have some mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, I see these problems daily, and I preach about the dangers of distracted driving, including the curse of texting while driving, and, overall, I’m in favor of the ban. On the other hand, I’m a bit concerned that this might be overreaching. Talking on cell phones has become accepted, and it’s hard to legislate away such accepted conduct.
I hope the biggest effect of the ban is that we don’t have to see so many people texting while driving. Police officers think the overall ban will make it easier to enforce existing texting while driving bans, and I certainly think that’s a good idea.