Cell Phones While Driving? Off-Limits In Amarillo.
Laws are in place for a reason, I think we can all agree on that right?
Why is it then that we have this inane ability to see how much we can get away with?
Everyone and I mean EVERYONE has broken some kind of traffic law in their lifetime. Sure, maybe you didn't get caught, but you have definitely driven faster than you were supposed to. Maybe you didn't come to a complete stop at a stop sign.
I'll bet though that anyone with a cell phone has broken a traffic law though...with their cell phone itself.
Amarillo is notoriously one of the toughest cities in Texas when it comes to using a cell phone while in the car. Not while driving, while IN THE CAR.
Did you know that Amarillo had a law where even if you were at a full stop, you couldn't pick up your phone to look at it or text? Now, that law ended up going away when the state passed its use of cell phones in the car law, however, it's still good practice.
On the heels of so many gruesome car incidents recently, here's a reminder of the cell phone laws in Texas and Amarillo.
No, you can't pick up your phone and hold it to your ear while taking a phone call while you're in the car. If you want to talk on a phone, it must be done on a hands-free device. If you don't have that available, you have to put the phone on speaker mode and NOT hold it to hear.
Texting, can't do it. If you're at a stoplight or a complete stop somewhere, sure you can pick it up and respond to a text or whatever. However, they advise against even doing that. It's a distraction whether you're at a complete stop or not.
Do you know how many people I've seen just sit at a green light because they had their heads buried in their phones? The amount of lights I've missed getting through because of it is unreal.
When it comes to minors driving, the laws are even stricter. If you have a learner's permit, you cannot use your handheld device for the first six months of driving. Period. No hands-free device, no texting at a stop. Just put it away and forget about it.
If you're under the age of 18, the same concept applies. You may not use ANY device while you're driving. Again, just put it away and forget you even have it unless you need it for an emergency.
Last but not least, using a cell phone in school crossing zone is completely prohibited. There are too many kids around, and it's up to us to make sure we're paying attention to them, not the other way around. Adults' attention spans are MUCH greater than that of a child.
So the next time you get behind the wheel of a car, I want you to remember these things. Avoid the ticket and fine that comes with it, and just keep the roads a safer place to be on.