Local city bans texting while driving

November 10, 2009 4:32:18 AM PST
Drivers who like to text message behind the wheel in West University Place may want to start getting that out of the system, because time is running out. On Monday, The City Council voted to make that against the law. Drivers who text behind the wheel in within the city's limits have one week to stop before the council votes unanimously again to ban the practice.

Drivers typing on phones can be found all over the area, and it's a distraction dangerous enough for law enforcement to take notice.

"It's a driver that has their attention and their focus on their hand and not on the highway," said Chief ken Walker with the West University Place Police Department. "It's extremely dangerous."

The ban also applies to Web browsing and accessing sites like Facebook and Twitter for drivers.

"We already had no texting in school zones during school zone hours, and we expanded that tonight to include to texting in a motor vehicle in the entire city of West University Place," said Mayor Bob Kelly.

Some residents of the town agree with the plan.

"It takes 110 percent of our concentration to be on the road," resident Mary Bergman said. "We don't have extra concentration to be texting."

"I see them texting while driving, yes," Adrian Bouldin said. "In my opinion, that's very dangerous."

The ban will not go into effect until council passes it again, at a second reading at next week's meeting. The city attorney said it will be effective immediately.

"We're going to use everything we've got to get the word out as quickly as we can, but we thought it was such an important issue that we wanted to get that out real quick," Kelly said.

The council is expected to pass the texting ban. When they do, West University Place will become the second city in Texas to ban texting while driving.

Austin city council banned it last month, but their law doesn't go into effect until Jan. 2.

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