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.