Handheld Cell Phone Ban Goes in Place Jan. 3

Posted on Dec 28, 2012

Amarillo, TX – Did you get a Bluetooth for Christmas? If so, it was a thoughtful and practical gift. The ordinance prohibiting the use of a handheld cell phone in the City of Amarillo goes into effect Jan. 3.

While anything that takes your eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, or mind off the task of driving is a hazard, there is heightened concern about the risks of texting and talking while driving because it combines all three types of distraction – visual, manual and cognitive. The City of Amarillo has joined the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s “One Text or Call Could Wreck It All” campaign.

“We all know that talking on our handheld cell phones or texting while driving is distracting, but that doesn’t stop some people from continuing to do it,” says Sonja Gross, community relations coordinator. “This media campaign is intended to educate our community about the dangers of handheld cell phone use while driving. We hope that once people realize the dangers involved, they will change their driving habits to help protect themselves, their families and others on the road.” 

Amarillo’s goal with this campaign is simple – save lives by getting drivers to remember that “One Text or Call Could Wreck It All.”

“Distracted driving is an epidemic on America’s roadways, and we’re doing our part to help put an end to it,” says U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood. “Efforts like this one will help us put an end to distracted driving, and we encourage your support of this program to help save lives in your community.”   

The ordinance goes into effect Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013. At that time, Amarillo police will begin issuing warnings. Citations will be issued starting Feb. 2 and violators could face a fine of up to $200 plus court costs.

For more information about the ordinance, visit www.amarillo.gov  and click on the “One Text or Call Could Wreck It All” banner. That link will take you to a FAQ sheet, which answers many questions people have related to the ban on handheld cell phones while driving. A link to the ordinance itself is provided as well.

To schedule a guest speaker on this subject for your church, business or civic organization, please contact the Community Relations office at (806) 378-3549 or sonja.gross@amarillo.gov.

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