Texting & Driving Ban Gets Unanimous Vote by Midland City Council

Texting & Driving Ban Gets Unanimous Vote by Midland City Council

MIDLAND COUNTY, TX (KWES) - A big change could be in the works for drivers in Midland. The City Council unanimously voted yes for a texting and driving ban. That came after some heated debate. Opponents say it's impossible to enforce. If the ordinance is passed, the fine could be up to $500 if you're caught texting while driving. GPS will be allowed though and that has drivers confused.

"It's not thought out well. There's a lot of thought missing on this. It's not a well thought out law; ordinance. it needs a lot of work," said Ignacio Lopez, a Midland resident.

"The officer cannot inspect the phone, take the phone. It's pretty much the officer's word against a violator," said Chief Price Robinson with the Midland Police Department.

Most of the people who spoke out against the ban agree texting and driving needs to be stopped. They told NewsWest 9 they just feel it's impossible for officers to spot the difference between texting and using GPS.

"I just ask ya'll the same thing. Do you have any difficultly spotting it when you're out and about. The officers will be made aware of the new ordinance and then will enforce it as part of their daily routine just like they observe someone speeding or running a red light or something like that," said Robinson.

City Council members say that's not all this ordinance is aimed to do.

"The idea of the texting ban for Midland is not to give out tickets. It is to bring awareness to the problem of distracted driving by looking down or looking elsewhere than out your windshield to drive," said Midland City Council Member, Jeff Sparks.

The ordinance will need to be voted on one more time before it can go into effect.

"I do believe it will pass. Yes I do, and I do believe we want more public input," said Midland City Council Member, Scott Dufford.

At least two public meetings will be held before the final vote on August 11. Dates for the public meetings have not been set yet.