Texting while driving ban: How will it be enforced?

Jasmin Caldwell reports.

WACO - There are many questions looming about a new texting while driving ban signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott Tuesday.

Local officers said there is a lot more to the new law than people think.

Channel 6 talked to police about what drivers can and cannot do on their cell phone while in their cars.

Waco Police made it very clear this new law bans all electronic communication from one person to the other. That means no social media and sending emails.

This law still allows drivers to use their GPS systems but Waco police said even in that case drivers are urged to have another person in the car operate the GPS or they can pull over and use it safely.

Considering that this law is so new there will be an education process not only for the public but law enforcement as well.

If police do catch you texting and driving, they said there is only one exception that will get you off the hook.

Waco Police Sergeant Patrick Swanton said making an emergency call is one of the exceptions to the rules.

“Maybe somebody was following you and you had to pick up the phone and call 911 or text 911 something along those lines,” Swanton said.

Since January of 2015, Austin has been a hands-free city for motorists and cyclists. Channel 6 reached out to police there and they said the ban has been very effective. They also said they frequently set up stings on the roads just to catch drivers who text behind the wheel. 

© 2017 KCEN-TV


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