The city of Austin has been campaigning to prepare residents for new Austin distracted driving restrictions that are to go into effect on January 1, 2015.
On August 28, 2014, the Austin City Council adopted Ordinance No. 20140828-041 amending section 12-1-34 of the City Code to prohibit the use of portable electronic devices while operating a motor vehicle or bicycle.
The new Ordinance outlines that unless using a hands-free system such as Bluetooth or headphones, or a permanently affixed GPS system, use of portable devices while moving in a car or on a bike will be a citable offense beginning January 1, 2015.
The popularity of similar “hands free” cell phone laws and legislation by state continues to grow. In Texas, both Austin and San Antonio are the forerunners in implementing actual law, with bans on handheld cell phone and other device use going into effect January 1, 2015.