Texting while driving law enforcement starts Tuesday

Drivers caught texting while driving will begin receiving citations beginning Tuesday. On Jan. 5, the San Angelo City Council approved an ordinance that prohibits the use of smartphones, tablets and other wireless communication devices while driving.

There are some exceptions to the ban including using devices while legally parked or stopped out of traffic; while dialing or talking on the cell phone or other device; reading directions when using the device as a navigation system (GPS); to call for police, fire or ambulance assistance to report an emergency such as a traffic accident, crime in progress or medical emergency; and in conjunction with voice operated, hands-free (blue-tooth) or push to talk technology.

Residents were given a grace period to adjust to the ban. That grace period ends March 1.

After March 1, anyone caught texting while driving will receive a citation filed through the San Angelo Municipal Court with a fine up to $500 for violation.