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No more texting while driving in Seguin

Add another city to the list of those that have banned the practice.

Seguin has joined several area cities in banning texting and using applications on cell phones while driving.

The new ordinance went into effect [last] Saturday, joining bans already in place in San Antonio, Universal City, Selma and Converse. The Seguin City Council voted unanimously in November to ban using wireless communication devices while driving.

The council set up a 30-day grace period to publicize the ordinance before implementing the law.

Offenders could face a fine of up to $500.

[…]

Seguin Police Detective Aaron Seidenberger said the focus of the ordinance is “safety, preventing injuries and preventing accidents.”

The offense makes it unlawful for “an operator of a motor vehicle to use a wireless communication device to view, send or compose an electronic message or manually engage other application software while operating a motor vehicle upon a roadway in the city,” he said.

Manually engaging other application software includes using built-in GPS, the Internet or Facebook. Talking on the phone is legal except in school zones.

“So, it’s not just texting,” Seidenberger said. “Technically speaking, you can’t go to your GPS app on a phone and pull up a location and hold it in your hand and manipulate the keypad or phone while you’re driving. You can cradle it where it’s hands-free, but you can’t manipulate it while you’re driving. ”

He said the law also applies when a motorist is stopped at a stop sign or red light.

Remember to adjust your behavior the next time you’re in Seguin. This is normally where I’d say that I expect there to be some attempt in the Lege to standardize these rules at the state level, but I’m not so sure about that for this session. There’s too much other stuff going on, and I don’t think anything that’s not on the approved Republican wish list will get much attention. I could be wrong, but I’d bet we’re more likely to see this come up in a future legislature than in this one.

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2 Comments

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by offthekuff. offthekuff said: New OTK post No more texting while driving in Seguin: Add another city to the list of those that have banned the… http://bit.ly/ff4Yf3 […]

  2. Erik Wood says:

    I think legislation has value in raising public awareness in forums like this one but it will be difficult to solely legislate our way out of this issue. I just read that 72% of teens text daily – many text more 4000 times a month. New college students no longer have email addresses! They use texting and Facebook – even with their professors. This text and drive issue is in its infancy and its not going away.

    I decided to do something about distracted driving after my three year old daughter was nearly run down right in front of me by a texting driver. Instead of a shackle that locks down phones and alienates the user (especially teens) I built a tool called OTTER that is a simple GPS based, texting auto reply app for smartphones. It also silences call ringtones while driving unless you have a bluetooth enabled. I think if we can empower the individual then change will come to our highways now and not just our laws.

    Erik Wood, owner
    OTTER LLC
    OTTER app