Texting-While-Driving Banned After Holidays

While picking up his son from school earlier this month Jerry Prepejchal, Precinct 4 commissioner for Harlingen, had a scary experience.

"I had a lady that was driving a black navigator in front of me . She was texting at the same time, said Jerry Prepejchal. She was actually veering from one lane to the other. I had to slam on the brakes and she almost hit me in the front.

That's why on Wednesday in a commissioners meeting, Prepejchal voted to ban texting while driving in the city.

Harlingen police will begin cracking down on the ban at the start of the New Year.

That means texting, playing games or using any other apps behind the wheel could land you a $200 fine.

I think there is no place for texting while driving whether you're in a school zone whether it's in the city or not, said Prepejchal.

The City Commissioner said drivers will have until January to get used to the new law.

There will be an education component that will includes signs to be posted in the city.

Many support the ordinance, even some Texters.

I think it's a good idea. I've been in near wrecks texting myself and almost been hit by people texting, said Victor Quintana.

I see people driving down the freeway, in the fast lane and they're texting, said a Harlingen resident.

I drive an 18 wheeler and several times I TMve had near crashes because people are texting, said Jimmy Quintanilla.

But some critics questioned how police would enforce the law and if they would obey the ban themselves.

Nah I don TMt think they'll catch everybody, said Manuel Levish.

Yes I think they should be more strict and sometimes I TMve even seen police officers texting on the phone, said Quintanilla.

I've seen them speed and turn on the lights just to pass red lights so I TMm sure they'll text, said Quintana.

Perpejchal said that even though the effects of such ordinances are difficult to quantify, putting a ban in place would be a step in the right direction.