Authorities across Texas will soon be scouring the roads for people who are texting behind the wheel. A statewide ban that takes effect Friday, September 1st, 2017.
A law signed by Gov. Greg Abbott last month will replace the patchwork of local restrictions that some municipalities adopted. Supporters of the bill hope it will make the roads safer; 1 in 5 crashes involves driver distraction, according to the Texas Department of Transportation.
Here’s What You Need To Know
- The law targets people who are on their cellphones reading, writing or sending a text message while driving.
- Law enforcement will be on the lookout for drivers whose heads are down and who are swerving. “That’s a huge indicator that they might be texting and driving.”
- If a driver is stopped at a red light, it’s not a violation to be looking at a phone because they’re not “operating a vehicle” in that moment. But Barineau cautions that texting at a red light can often cause a hazard because drivers don’t notice when the light turns green. “If an officer sees that person is moving on but still texting and driving, they’ll pull them over.”
- Cellphones can be used for GPS navigation and music, though drivers might still get pulled over if officers suspect them of texting. “The key here is keeping your head up and keeping your hands on the wheel.” Officers often see people with a knee on the steering wheel as they text with one hand. “If somebody cuts in front of them then they are immediately at a disadvantage to maneuver out of the way.”
- Instead of texting, seek out hands-free technology, like Bluetooth headsets or dictation functions and apps that type out words spoken aloud. (See my top picks below)
- Using a cellphone to report an emergency, like a car crash, while driving is OK under the law. “Of course we need to get emergency medical personnel there as quickly as possible.”
- Those who are caught texting and driving will face a fine up to $99 for the first offense and those who’ve previously been convicted could face up to $200.
So with that being said, if you don’t have a phone mount for your car, you will now. Below are my top 3 picks for the best phone mounts for your car.
My Top 3 Car Phone Mounts
This one is my top choice and happens to be the most expensive, but don’t worry because it comes in at a whopping $18. At that price, it’s a steal. Click the link or picture to check it on amazon.
This car mount is great alternative to the iOttie above and comes at almost half of the price.
If you don’t like the idea or the look of the traditional car mounts, this is the perfect option. It packs a super small imprint that makes it almost look like it came with the car.