As of September 1st, 2017, texting and driving within the state of Texas is officially illegal. The offense is punishable by a fine of $25-99 for first-time offenders, and $100-200 for repeat offenders. Additionally, many Texas cities, towns, and municipalities have passed additional local ordinances regarding phone use while driving. In fact, at least 75 cities have enacted hands-free ordinances which go much further than banning texting while driving.
A few additional laws regarding the use of mobile devices while driving in Texas:
- All novice drivers are banned from using their cell phone (or any wireless communication device) while driving until their 18th birthday.
- All school bus drivers (those carrying passengers under the age of 17) are banned from speaking on the phone or texting while driving, and all bus drivers are banned from texting. In fact, the FMCSA has recently instated a federal rule prohibiting commercial vehicle drivers (including 18-wheelers, tank trucks, etc.) from texting while driving, even while stopped at a red light.
- No person may talk on a cell phone or text while driving in a school zone, though hands-free devices may be used in these areas.
For a more-complete rundown, see our page on Texas’ texting & driving laws.