TxDOT Reveals “Talk, Text, Crash” in Austin
Drive through downtown Austin and you will notice that the Texas Department of Transportation has ramped up its campaign against texting and driving. According to the department, the campaign is an attempt to prevent crashes on Austin’s roadways and those throughout the state.
Officials from the department say that close to 500 people were killed in Texas last year due to distracted-driving crashes. More than 3,000 more people were injured. In the city of Austin alone, there were thousands of collisions that were ultimately attributed to distracted driving.
Very near the Paramount Theater on Congress Avenue, you will notice the new campaign sign for “Talk, Text, Crash.” It should serve as a reminder to cyclists and drivers caught violating the city’s hands-free ordinance. If you are caught using your mobile device while driving or cycling, you are subject to a $500 fine. The use of any handheld device puts you in violation.
You can, however, choose to use a Bluetooth or other hands-free system without getting into trouble with the law. The only time you are permitted to use your device is in an emergency situation, whether yours or someone else’s. Police do suggest pulling to the side of the road to make an emergency phone call.
Police are looking for drivers who:
- Participate in phone calls with the phone on speaker or directly held to the ear.
- Dial the phone or disconnect from a call.
- View or distribute any electronic data including emails, texts, photos, social media, websites, and games.
- Enter information or change information in a GPS device.
If you perform any of these actions while driving, you should expect to be cited. If you are stopped at a light or at a standstill in traffic, the ordinance does not apply. While this law may seem to infringe upon your freedom, keep in mind that it is intended to keep people safe on the road.
If you have been injured in an auto accident and need an attorney, contact our offices. Our experienced personal injury lawyers are here to assist you. Call now.