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Denton is ahead of the new Texas “texting while driving” state-wide ban

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DENTON - We all know texting and driving is dangerous, and soon it'll be illegal in Texas.

Governor Abbott signed the ban Tuesday, and it goes into effect September 1.

So there are definitely going to be some changes for police in DFW, but the city of Denton already has a head start!

"It went into effect June 1," said Public Information Officer Bryan Cose, "and it prohibits any use of a handheld wireless communication device in a vehicle while that vehicle's being moved."

They're starting off with warnings., and most are on board.

"The only accident I've been in," says local resident Maggie, "I was rear ended by a girl who was on her phone."

Prudence Sanchez, local resident and attorney, says she's in favor of it. "I believe that it is very dangerous to text and drive and you're not paying full attention."

But some have their concerns about the Denton absolutely-no-device policy.

"The only thing I worry about is that tends to lead to police standing at corners and waiting for someone to stop who then looks down at their phone and then ticketing them," says local attorney Seth Fuller.

A 14-day special session in July may throw a speed bump at law enforcement. It could mean that state laws trump city laws.

"The state-wide worries me," says Fuller. "I've only looked at it, given it a cursory glance, it worries me, burden of proof, so if they were on Facebook and not texting, is that an affirmative defense?"

Spoken like a true attorney.

"The main thing though is we're not hoping to write a bunch of tickets," says Officer Cose, "we're hoping for people to just realize it's a dangerous activity and voluntarily change their behavior."

So regardless of the rules, if you're in the car and you hear that phone go off, maybe think twice before looking down, 'cause it could mean a $100 fine, or even worse, someone's life.


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