Cell phone and texting laws differ from state to state, and novice drivers need to learn these laws not only to pass their driving text, but also to stay safe and legal on the roads. Since these laws in states like Texas specifically apply to young or novice drivers, its important to know how they apply so you dont get caught doing something illegal on the roads, and have something on your driving record.
What are the Laws for Novice Drivers?
In Texas, there isnt a primary ban on cell phone use or texting while driving, except in school zones. Meaning, once teen drivers have their license for at least one year, texting and cell phone use isnt against the law (but still shouldnt be done while driving anyway). However, teens with permits, or with a license for less than one year, will be cited if caught texting or using a cell phone.
These cell phone and texting laws in Texas are primary enforcement, meaning the texting or the cell phone us is enough for an officer to pull you over to give you a ticket. No other traffic offense needs to take place. In Texas, it wont be enough to say that you were going the speed limit or did stop for that stop sign to get out of a citation. There is such a thing a secondary enforcement, where the officer can only count the cell phone as an infraction only if you committed another violation (speeding, running a red light etc.)
Why Is it Important to Know These Laws?
These laws are important for young drivers to know not only to keep a clean driving record and to stay safe on the roads, but cell phone and texting laws also appear on the Texas DPS driving test. The test may cover things like road signs, passing rules, and emergency procedure, but these laws could also appear on thetest.
Overall, cell phone and texting laws primarily apply to novice drivers because of their inexperience on the road and their higher rate of accidents and fatalities. Any and every law thats been put in place to protect young drivers behind the wheel ought to be known and abided by. In 2010, 46 people lost their lives in cell phone related crashes, and nearly 3,400 accidents were caused by cell phone use. By following cell phone and texting laws, you wont end up as a statistic.