Denton considers banning all hand-held cellphone usage while driving

- It could soon be illegal to use a cellphone while driving in Denton. The city council on Tuesday discussed expanding an existing ban on texting while driving to include using a cell phone.

City leaders said enforcing the current ordinance has been too difficult, so the new one would make any use of a hand-held cellphone while driving illegal.

Denton PD public information officer Shane Kizer says since 2014 to March of this year they're been 254 distracted driving crashes - one third of those involved handheld devices.

City officials say seven people, including four children, have died since the original ordinance was approved in 2014. Drivers are still districted using their phones to do things like make calls, chat on FaceTime or look up directions.

The rules would apply whether the engine is running or not. Texting even while sitting at a red light would be illegal. The only exception would be the use of Bluetooth devices.

If the expansion is approved, those caught using their mobile device behind the wheel could face up to a $200 fine.

The majority of people FOX4 spoke to in Denton were in favor of new restrictions.

"Talking on the phone is dangerous. It makes you distracted. Your hands are not on the wheel, like they should be, it's just in in general is a good idea," said Mikaela Langer.

The council postponed voting on the ban until a Dec. 6 meeting.

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