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Texting and Driving is Now Illegal in Texas, But, Tap The Brakes, is The Law Enforceable?

As of September 1st, texting while operating a motor vehicle is illegal in Texas.  An offense is punishable by a fine of $25.00-$99.00 for first time offenders, with fines increasing to the range of $100.00-$200.00 for repeat offenders.  Additionally, if texting and driving results in death or bodily injury of another, you may be charged with a Class A misdemeanor, including a fine to exceed $4,000.00 and jail time up to one year.

The new law may prove difficult to enforce due to numerous exceptions, which include the following:

  • You may still use your phone for GPS navigation, music applications, and dialing phone numbers
  • The law does not specifically address the use of internet browsers, search functions, gaming, or other phone applications
  • Texting by a driver in an emergency situation is an exemption
  • Workers sending and receiving dispatches via text and/or messaging apps. from devices fixed to a vehicle during the course of business are also exempt (most workers communicating with offices would be exempt as long as phones are mounted)
  • Dictation or hands-free texting is allowed
If you are stopped by the police for “texting while driving,” be respectful, accept the ticket and don’t get arrested for being a jerk. The place to fight the ticket is in traffic court, not the side of the road. Although we don’t handle traffic tickets, if you find yourself on the wrong-end of a business dispute, please keep us in mind.