West Lake Hills amends public safety ordinances related to sex offenders, hands-free driving rules

West Lake Hills City Council amended two ordinances Dec. 13 to better reflect state legislation signed into law earlier in 2017.


Council amended its sex offender residency restrictions, which prevented registered sex offenders with crimes against minors from living within 1,000 feet of playgrounds, schools, bus stops, day cares, public pools, arcades and youth centers. The new state law allows cities to restrict all sex offenders and gives general law cities such as West Lake Hills authority to restrict offenders from being within 1,000 feet of such establishments. 


The city was one of many general law cities in the state targeted by a Texas Voices for Reason and Justice lawsuit, claiming that its sex offender residency restrictions were too strict. City Administrator Robert Wood said he believes the lawsuit will be dropped because the new state laws are more restrictive.


Council also amended the city’s hands-free driving ordinance to exclude texting while driving. A new state law now regulates all texting-while-driving violations, making the clause in the city ordinance redundant.


Motorists driving in West Lake Hills are still prohibited from using handheld phones and similar devices while driving.



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