San Antonio bans texting while driving

It seems like young and old drivers alike will have to give their fast fingers a rest.  Last week, the San Antonio City Council met Oct. 7 and enacted a ban on texting while driving within city limits.

According to the Request for Council Action the ordinance amends Chapter 19, Article VII of the City Code, by adding a new section under Section 19, which will prohibit the use of a hand-held mobile communications device to send, read, or write a text message, or engage in any other use of the device besides dialing telephone numbers or talking to another person, while operating a motor vehicle.

“San Antonio’s roads are hectic enough,” said freshman biology majors Warda Riaz and Larhonda Daniels.  “People should not be texting or handling their phones while driving in the first place.”

The restrictions on cell phone use while driving strengthened in 2008 with the ordinance that banned any use of a cell phone while traveling through a school zone.  While the restrictions were specific to school zones with posted markings at the beginning and end of the zone’s perimeter, the San Antonio Police Department (SAPD) has still given numerous citations for drivers refusing to put down their mobile devices while driving close to schools.

Officers will give warnings for the first 90 days after the ordinance takes place and inform San Antonio residents and inform them about the new law with public service announcements.

After 90 days, officers will begin issuing citations of up to $200 per violation.