Argyle Texas Goes Hands-Free on May 1, 2016

| January 28, 2016 | Comments (0)

Hands Free Law in Argyle

While just about every US state has banned texting while driving (and many prohibit hand-held phone use as well), Texas does not. Even though there’s no statewide law (yet), cities all over the state are beginning to ban the practice within their jurisdictions.

While most cities only ban texting and driving (while specifically allowing drivers to dial phone numbers, talk, and use GPS), Argyle has gone one step further by enacting a hands-free ordinance.

Enforcement of Argyle hands-free law begins May 2016.

Argyle’s hands-free law was passed in November of 2015, and full enforcement begins in May of 2016. As of May 1st, those driving through the city of Argyle will no longer be able to use their phones (or tablets, laptops, or other “portable electronic devices”) while driving, except when using a hands-free device.

This means no texting, dialing, using a non-affixed GPS, playing games, taking pictures, browsing the internet, pushing buttons, etc. Hands-free means hands-free, and you can be ticketed for simply touching your phone while driving (even while stopped at a light).

Heavy fines for law breakers.

If convicted, drivers may be subjected to a fine of up to $200 per offense. This law does not apply to vehicles which are parked or on private property, emergency responders, or to drivers communicating with emergency services (e.g. police, fire, EMS, hospital, physician, etc.) when attempting to prevent an injury or when you believe someone’s safety is in immediate danger.

This move, though controversial, comes hot on the heels of Denton’s texting-and-driving ban enacted back in October of 2013. Denton, however, is not hands-free and only applies to texting while driving.

Cities enforcing cell phone bans in Texas.

More than 100 Texas cities have already banned texting and driving or have enacted hands-free laws. Texas cities with hands-free laws include Arlington, Amarillo, Austin, Bedford, Corpus Chrisi, El Paso, Laredo, Little Elm, New Braunfels, San Antonio, and more.

The Argyle hands-free ordinance was unanimously adopted during the council meeting on November 17th, 2015. At the moment, city officials are rolling out educational exercises as well as signs across the city to make sure that drivers are made aware of the ban before official enforcement which starts on May 1st.

The role of the Argyle Police Department.

Argyle Police Chief William Tackett was on record saying that most people don’t admit to using the phone while driving, and that it may difficult for them, as the police force, to prove that someone was using the phone while driving unless they observe it with their own eyes.

He also added that they were working closely with the Texas Department of Transportation to put up signage warning drivers of the same in advance, as well as involving both Liberty-Christian Schools and the Argyle Independent School District, all of which have hundreds of students making the long commute through Argyle on a daily basis.

For more information, view the Argyle municipal code relating to the new ordinance.

Category: In The News

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