The Public Safety Committee on Wednesday voted to move District 10 Councilman Mike Gallagher's proposed ban on cellphone use while driving to the full City Council for debate. Courtesy.
Not using your phone while driving could soon become as habitual as strapping on a seatbelt, hopefully.
The Public Safety Committee on Wednesday voted to move District 10 Mike Gallagher’s proposed ordinance to ban the use of cellphones while driving to the full City Council for debate.
The proposed ban would prohibit using a hand-held device, i.e. cellphone, on any city street—whether the motorist is stopped in traffic or at a red light doesn’t matter.
San Antonio Police Department Chief William McManus recommended bringing the proposed ban to City Council as soon as October 30, and if approved—the ban would become law on January 1, 2015. However, McManus said the police department would give Alamo City motorists a 30-day grace period where only warnings would be handed out.
After that, a violation could cost a cellphone-happy motorist a fine of up to $200.
There are a few exceptions to the proposal, though, including hands-free devices, GPS devices mounted on dashboards, people who are legally parked, and emergency calls or when a call prevents an injury.
Any law enforcement officer in San Antonio can enforce the proposed law, which doesn’t apply to motorists when they are on private property.
Gallagher proposed the ban in late August.
As it is, two ordinances already exist. In 2008, City Council banned texting while driving and in 2010 it banned the use of cellphones in school zones.
Here's a copy of the proposal:
Draft Revisions to 9-254 and 9-255 (1) (2)