Distracted driving law could be expanded upon

A public hearing will be held at the Aug. 28 City Council meeting regarding a proposed distracted driving ordinance stricter than the existing law.

On Aug. 7, City Council passed a resolution directing City Manager Marc Ott to draft a new distracted driving ordinance.

Some council members voiced concern on how best to enforce such an ordinance at the Aug. 5 council work session and whether cars at a complete stop—at a red light, for instance—could use their phone for a few moments.

Councilwoman Laura Morrison said she does text at stop lights, but acknowledged it could cause a problem if the lead car at a light is doing so and prolongs moving after the light turns green.

Not allowing drivers to access their GPS for just a few seconds could cause even more traffic issues, Councilman Bill Spelman said.

David King, a community member, told council he watched 10 drivers on their phones pass through a stop sign without slowing during a two-hour period near Zilker Elementary School.

The possible ordinance would not apply to pedestrians, according to the resolution being proposed by council.