San Marcos is reminding drivers that police officers began issuing citations on March 1 for those who are caught using a cell phone or other handheld device while driving a motor vehicle or riding a bicycle in San Marcos.
Signs have been placed around the city since January urging people to use hands-free devices while on the road.
The hands-free ordinance was passed back in November 2015. It went into effect on February 1, 2016 with a one-month grace period in which only warnings were issued for violators.
The new law prohibits the following while biking or driving:
- Dialing, hanging up, or engaging in a telephone conversation
- Viewing, taking, or transmitting electronic images
- Using email
- Using GPS or other navigation applications
- Browsing the Internet
- Playing games
- Typing, reading, or sending text messages
Making telephone calls using hands-free functions is allowed, as is using GPS and navigation devices that are attached to the vehicle.
The penalty for violating the ordinance is a fine of up to $100 for a first offense; up to $250 for a second offense; and up to $500 for third and subsequent offenses.
Information about the ordinance is available online at www.sanmarcostx.gov/handsfree.