Kerrville officially goes “hand-free” inside city limits

April 30, 2018

The following information and image were provided directly by the City of Kerrville.

A new City of Kerrville ordinance prohibits the use of all electronic hand-held devices while operating a motor vehicle or bicycle within city limits.

In 2015, 3,477 people were killed and 391,000 were injured in accidents involving distracted drivers, Kerrville Police Chief David Knight said. Vehicle accidents involving drivers distracted by hand-held devices doubled in Kerrville from about 17 in 2015 to more than 35 in 2017, Knight said.

To avoid fines of up to $500, put your phone away or consider using a hands-free system such as Bluetooth or headphones, or an affixed GPS system.

The Kerrville City Council adopted Ordinance No. 2018-10, amending chapter 102, Article IV, Division I of the City Code, to prohibit the use of hand-held portable electronic devices while operating a motor vehicle or bicycle. The law, which is in addition to state law, went into effect April 23, 2018, but drivers have a 90-day grace period during which warnings will be issued for violations of the ordinance. After July 22, violations will carry a fine. For the first offense, a driver can be fined $100. The second offense carries a fine of $200.  A third offense or subsequent offenses will have a fine of $500.

Breaking the law does not amount to a moving violation and will not impact a driver’s insurance.

Per the city ordinance, drivers will be able to use their devices if they are: reporting a crime to a law-enforcement officer; communicating with an emergency response operator or a medical professional or office regarding a medical emergency; or to navigate using a GPS system.

Drivers may also have phones in their hands while a vehicle is parked or on private property, but may not hold them at a stop light or stop sign.

For more information, call the Kerrville Police Department at 257-8181.

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