The Denton City Council voted unanimously to outlaw texting and most usage of mobile phones with the exception of vocal conversation in the entire city excluding interstates and their service roads. The following information is gathered from reports by the Denton Record-Chronicle, The Dallas Morning News, and NBC-5 News.
Heated testimony filled the council chamber as citizens reported of incidents where pedestrians and bicyclists are injured as a result of neglectful and distracted driving while using cellular devices. One pedestrian was struck by a vehicle on the historic Denton Square and later died. The ban is similar to an ordinance in the City of Arlington banning all cellular phone activity aside from phone calls. Use of GPS services is allowed only if the cell phone is mounted to the dash board. Texting and all uses are allowed when the vehicle is stopped and out of the flow of traffic or if there is a life-threatening emergency.
The City of Denton plans to launch campaign to educate the public about the concerns and implications of this ban.
Some residents were dissatisfied with the ban, saying it did not go far enough. One voiced intent to resign his position on the Traffic Safety Commission, stating that the ordinance was worthless. Council members sympathetically stated it was at least a step in the right direction considering there was nothing before this. The State of Texas is one of seven in the nation that does not ban texting while driving, statewide.
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