Today while driving to work at Grubbs Infiniti (yes, as the Social Media Manager I could easily work from home but prefer to office at the dealership so I stay connected to what's going on) I noticed a Clear Wireless billboard on Central Expressway that showed a lap top sitting on the dashboard of a person's car and showed a traffic camera on the screen. (I will get a picture of it tomorrow when I drive by it.. Yes, I will make sure to not be moving while I take the picture). My first impression was, that it's pretty cool to be tracking traffic live on your computer while driving. My second impression, after a cup of coffee, was that it's irresponsible to be even hinting at driving while using a lap top computer. That got me thinking about what the actual Texas laws are governing texting and hands free cell phone use.
The interesting thing about the laws that are in place is that you not only have to be tuned into what the Texas legislature passes as law (and signed by Governor Perry) but also what the municipalities around Texas have passed. Some municipalities have tried or have banned texting or using cellphones without a handsfree device all together. Dallas, Austin, Galveston and several smaller municipalities have banned use of drivers’ use of mobile phones without hands-free devices and text messaging in school zones. El Paso’s City Council voted March 9 to ban use of handheld cell phones and text messaging while driving in city limits. Hands-free cell phones OK. Fines up to $500. El Paso already has outlawed use of handheld cell phones in school zones.
states (Calif., Conn., N.J., N.Y., Ore. and Wash.), D.C. and the Virgin Islands already prohibit all drivers from using handheld cell phones while driving. While it's not inevitable that a handheld cell phone ban is in the works it might be time to take a look at purchasing a Bluetooth ear piece or upgrading your car with Bluetooth.
Navigation Screens a Distraction?
When I think about the Clear Wireless billboard with the laptop on the dashboard it also makes me think of how the onscreen navigation systems (whether, in dash or placed on your window) can be a possible distraction. Some navigation systems safeguard against use while moving and have a rolling lock out and you can't enter any information while moving at speeds more than 5mph. When using any device be it a handheld cell phone, handsfree cell phone or a navigation system it's important to make sure that you are operating your vehicle in a safe manner. The tragedies arising from texting while driving have been front and center in the news lately but you can point to any distraction while driving as a cause for concern.
I am sure that we have all seen someone eating or putting on makeup while driving and you just shook your head. Recently in Florida a women was involved in a crash because she was shaving her bikini line. (See Articles Below). Let's be responsible, buckle up and focus on driving. At Grubbs Infiniti we hope that driving an Infiniti is such a great experience that you want to focus 100% on the driving and not all the other stuff that you can do while driving.
This information is from HandsFreeInfo.com
Updated: March 12, 2010
Texas legislation news
: Two new laws are in effect: one banning teen drivers from using cell phones and text messaging devices; the other prohibiting drivers from using handheld cell phones in school crossing zones.
Learners permit holders are prohibited from using handheld cell phones in the first six months of driving.
Drivers under the age of 17 with restricted licenses are prohibited from using wireless communications devices.
School bus operators prohibited from using cell phones while driving if children are present.
Drivers prohibited from using handheld devices in school crossing zones.
Texas Cell Phone Rules for Drivers
Governors Highway Safety Association
Infiniti Bluetooth Information
El Paso Proposed Ban
Florida Women Causes Crash While Shaving Bikini Line