AUSTIN (KXAN) - An ordinance requiring Austinites to go hands-free while drivingand using a cell phone is back on track at Austin City Hall.
Council member Mike Martinez said Thursday heis working once again on a proposal before Austin's Public SafetyCommission starting Aug. 1.
The ordinance would state drivers would have to use a hands-freedevice, such as earphones or a Bluetooth wireless headset, so drivers wouldnot have to look down while driving.
In 2008, Martinez floated the idea around city council chambers but decided to wait untilthe 2009
Martinez said he will bring the ordinance back on the locallevel because of the inaction of the legislature.
"Driving your car and talking on a phone is not a right," saidMartinez. "It's a privilege, but with that privilege comes someresponsibility."
Last October, Martinez said he met with various cell phonecompanies to talk about whether they would support giving awayhands-free devices to people who cannot afford them. He said hewould work with cell phone companies to provide the sameassistance.
As for the proposed law, Martinez said Austinites could facewarnings and fines and said officers would have the right to pullpeople over for talking on cell phones or texting whiledriving.
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