City of San Antonio
District 10 Councilman Mike Gallagher wants to ban motorists from using cellphones while operating vehicles. The City Council will consider the proposed ordinance Thursday.
Driving while talking on a cellphone could be illegal in San Antonio by next week, if City Council approves a proposed ordinance Thursday that amends the texting while driving ban to include all phone use.
"The City Council believes that prohibiting the use of hand-held mobile communication devices to engage in any use of a mobile communication device while driving, with certain defenses, would further and protect the public health, safety, and welfare," the proposal states.
The ordinance includes a 30-day grace period where motorists who are accused of using a cellphone while driving will receive a warning rather than a $200 citation. However, according to the proposal, a conviction of this offense may not become part of someone's driving or insurance records.
And don't think that only San Antonio Police Department officers will be able to hand these tickets out. The ordinance allows any law enforcement officer, including school district police, to issue the citations.
There are certain exceptions, including hands-free devices, exceptions for emergency vehicles and for the operation of radios by people licensed to use them, and for people who are legally parked or on private property.
The proposed amendment takes effect five days after City Council approval.