Taking their cues from the City of Austin, the cities of Bee Cave and Lakeway each passed a hands-free ordinance in April, ultimately banning the use of hand-held smart devices while driving or cycling. The law became effective July 1 and makes Lake Travis—including all Lake Travis ISD campuses, offices and facilities—an official hands-free community.
Here’s the 411 on the new law:
A driver or cyclist cannot:
- Engage in a call
- Create, send or read a text message
- View pictures
- Operate gaming or other apps
- Engage in any other use of the device
According to the ordinances passed by Bee Cave and Lakeway, the definition of engaging in a call means dialing, talking, or listening on a hand-held mobile communication device.
The hands-free ordinance passed by the City of Austin last August does allow a driver to use a device while stopped at a light. However, within the City of Bee Cave and City of Lakeway, a driver must be legally parked in order to make a call or text with a hand-held device.
Additionally, the ordinance does not apply to drivers using hands-free technology such as Bluetooth, headphones/earbuds and mounted devices, or operating an authorized emergency vehicle in an official capacity. Furthermore, drivers and cyclists will not be cited if they are communicating with an emergency response operator, law enforcement agency, or a hospital/health official regarding a medical or emergency situation.
If convicted of a first offense, a driver or cyclist shall be fined not more than $100. Additional convictions carry fines of up to $500.