Brian White | November 16, 2023 | Texas Laws
Distracted driving remains a pervasive problem on America’s roadways, with as many as 3,522 people losing their lives in 2021 due to this factor alone. Like most states, Texas has tried to combat the dangers of texting while driving through education and enforcement. Public service campaigns attempt to inform drivers of the dangers of using their cell phones while driving.
Texas laws and municipal ordinances in places like Houston augment these educational efforts. By penalizing dangerous distracted driving activities, lawmakers hope to discourage individuals from using their cell phones while driving and thereby risk others’ safety.
As a result, “How much is a ticket for texting and driving?” has become a popular search term for those driving through Texas. Motorists who are tempted to use their phones while driving may want to consider how much a cell phone ticket is before picking up their phone while driving.
Houston’s Texting While Driving Ban
Houston had previously adopted a city ordinance prohibiting drivers from using a wireless communication device to view, send, or create an electronic message while the vehicle is in motion on a public roadway. This ordinance encompasses messages consisting of text, data, pictures, or numbers that are manually created, sent, or received.
The ordinance contains several notable exceptions. It is not a violation of the ordinance to:
- Use a cell phone if doing so while operating an emergency vehicle and as part of your job duties
- Making an emergency call to a law enforcement agency, hospital, or other similar entity
- Using your cell phone while you are stopped and out of the way of traffic
- Utilizing your vehicle’s GPS or navigation system
- Sending, receiving, or viewing messages using a voice-activated or hands-free mode
If you find yourself charged with violating Houston’s texting-while-driving ban, you have the burden of showing that one of these exceptions applies.
As of September 1, 2017, texting while driving is illegal throughout the State of Texas.
How Much Is a Ticket For Texting and Driving?
Drivers who are convicted of texting while driving in Texas can, at minimum, face a fine for their conduct. A first-time offender can expect to pay a fine of between $25 and $99, while someone who has violated the law repeatedly can face up to a $200 fine. A conviction can also cause points to be added to the driver’s license, which can increase a driver’s insurance rates and lead to a license suspension.
If you want to understand the consequences of driving while texting, you must go beyond simply answering how much is a cell phone ticket. If you cause a car accident that results in someone’s injury or death, you could face more severe penalties, including imprisonment.
Similarly, causing an injury or fatal accident and then leaving the scene of the accident will result in penalties above and beyond those for simply driving while texting.
Texting While Driving in Texas Is Not Worth It
Like all Americans, Texans are accustomed to using their cell phones at all times to stay in touch with their friends and family. It can be difficult to curb your desire to continue using your cell phone when you get into your vehicle to drive. However, the costs of driving while distracted by a cell phone can be severe. Texas’s law aims to impose significant consequences on drivers who do not take the risks of distracted driving seriously as a way to help prevent more needless injuries and fatal accidents.
Contact the Houston Personal Injury Lawyers at Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers For Help
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