Lakeway Police Department enforces hands-free ordinance

The Lakeway Police Department has a warning for drivers. They started enforcing the city's hands-free ordinance Wednesday. Police want motorists to put down their phones and focus on the driving.

Sergeant Slade Fisher is on a mission to save lives by warning drivers of the dangers of distracted driving.

"There are all kinds of ways to be distracted while you're driving and safety issues that are caused from those," said Sgt. Fisher, Lakeway Police Department.

Starting Wednesday if caught using your phone behind the wheel, you could face a $100 fine for your first offense, and a larger amount after that. Chief Todd Radford says distractions can come from more than just phones.

"We recognize that we're a busy society with a lot going on and many people are distracted behind the wheel, multitasking, doing many things," said Chief Radford.

Police say identifying any offenders, won't be simple.

"There are glares from the windows and it's not an easy thing to observe," said Fisher.

Lakeway's ordinance is similar to Austin's which began at the beginning of the year.  In Lakeway, 24 officers will be on the roads watching for violators.  Police say their body and helmet cameras will also be a helpful tool to use for evidence.

The National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration found that you're 23 times more likely to crash if you use your phone. Chief Radford hopes the department's efforts can make people rethink using their phones in order to keep safety on the roads, the number one priority.

"This ordinance will hopefully re-center and refocus people back to the primary function and that's to drive a vehicle."

The city council approved this measure April 5. Police The Lakeway Police Department say they have already installed hands-free devices in their own patrol cars to set an example.

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