Texting and Driving Ban Now in Effect for Midland

Texting and Driving Ban Now in Effect for Midland

MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - You can no longer text while driving in the city of Midland. On Thursday, a new ordinance went into effect. NewsWest9 spoke with city officials about what officers are watching out for.

Looking down at your phone while behind the wheel, that's what officers in Midland are on the lookout for. Starting Thursday, they're pulling over drivers for texting.

"Officers will be looking for people that are keeping their heads down for extended periods of time. Looking up only every once in a while. Missing that the light has turned green," said Sara Bustilloz with the City of Midland.

If caught texting while driving, it could land you with a $500 fine, but it's not just texting that can get you in trouble.

"The ordinance includes any sort of sending, composing or viewing of a text message from a wireless communication device. It also includes apps with the exception of GPS," said Bustilloz.

While GPS and talking on the phone is still allowed, the City of Midland is encouraging drivers to keep their eyes on the road.

"Making sure you already have your address plugged into your GPS, knowing where you're going, that's not something that's necessarily required by the law but it's just something that's good to do," said Bustilloz.

City officials tell NewsWest9, during the first few weeks of the new texting and driving law, the aim is to make the roads safer.

"First of all, it's not about giving out tickets. It's about getting people to stop texting and driving. Secondly, it's not a sprint, it's a marathon so we're not trying to just give as many tickets as we can out of the gate," said Bustilloz.

But you may not want to risk your luck.

"If they see it, that's enough to be ticketed," said Bustilloz.

Starting Thursday, officers will be pulling over any drivers they believe might be texting or using apps.

"It's still an inconvenience to people so starting today (Thursday) they shouldn't be texting and driving," said Bustilloz.