Talking on your cell phone while driving is still legal in the town of San Marcos but the days are numbered. A new Hands-Free ordnance takes effect February 1st.
"So we understand not everyone knows about it, they may be seeing the signs around town but that’s just kind of a reminder,” said Kristi Wyatt with the city of San Marcos
City crews finished installing roadway notification signs earlier in the week. 35 signs were put up. During the month of February only wanting citations will be issued. Violations will start hitting you in the pocketbook come March 1.
"I do think that’s fair as alone as everybody is notified, of what the changes and of what the offense will be, if you do that. I think that’s fair,” said Imani Dickens a Texas State junior
The San Marcos hands free ordinance doesn't focus just on outlawing phone calls while driving. It will be illegal to; view or send electronic images. Use email. Browse the internet. Play games. Text messages or even activates your GPS. Only when you are at a complete stop can you use a handheld device.
"I think it is really necessary although I still see people definitely on their phones, I mean the law is the law,” said Shannon Pinales who supports new law
San Marcos is the last major municipality along the I-35 corridor between Austin and San Antonio to pass a hands free ordnance, but this new rule is not limited to motor vehicles. The law also applies to those riding bicycles.
"It will be just like any of our other laws we have in place, if you are not wearing your seat belt, the officer spots you, and he pulls you over and he may give you a ticket. And it will be the same thing for our hands free ordinance. There is not any video required, or anything like that but it will be very similar to the other types of ordinances we have in place for traffic offenses,” said Wyatt.
Fines start at $100 and can increase to $500.