Cell Phone Ordinances

AUSTIN, January 28, 2015 - One in five crashes involves driver distraction. Drivers who use cell phones in their vehicles have a higher risk of collision than drivers who don't, whether holding the phone or using a hands-free device.

Although Texas has no statewide law banning the use of cell phones while driving for all drivers, many local areas prohibit or limit the use of cell phones while driving. Specific limitations are listed below.

We urge you to drive now and talk later. If you must make a phone call, pull over. Otherwise, wait until you reach your destination to use the phone.

Cell Phone Prohibitions

  • Drivers with learners permits are prohibited from using handheld cell phones in the first six months of driving.
  • Drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited from using wireless communications devices.
  • School bus operators are prohibited from using cell phones while driving if children are present.
  • In school zones, all drivers are prohibited from texting and using handheld devices while driving.
  • Local restrictions. According to the Texas Legislative Council, the following cities have ordinances prohibiting texting while driving:
    • Alamo
    • Alice
    • Amarillo
    • Aransas Pass
    • Arlington
    • Austin
    • Bellaire
    • Brownsville
    • Canyon
    • Conroe
    • Converse
    • Corpus Christi
    • Denton
    • El Paso
    • Farmers Branch
    • Galveston
    • Grand Prairie
    • Harlingen
    • Helotes
    • Laredo
    • Magnolia
    • Maypearl
    • McAllen
    • Meadowlakes
    • Mission
    • Missouri City
    • Mount Vernon
    • Nacogdoches
    • Palmview
    • Pampa
    • Penitas
    • Richwood
    • Rowlett
    • San Antonio
    • Shoreacres
    • Sinton
    • Stephenville
    • Tomball
    • Universal City
    • West University Place
Fines and Cell Phone Ordinance Types

Fines range from $200 to $500.

There are three types of cell phone ordinances:

  • Ban on all uses of wireless communications devices while driving.
  • Ban on texting while driving.
  • Ban on texting and other manual uses of wireless communication devices while driving.

Nearly 40 cities have adopted ordinances since November 2009, when Austin became the first city to enact a citywide ban on texting while driving.



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