Public hearing on Amarillo cell phone ban - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Public hearing on Amarillo cell phone ban

Amarillo, TX- An estimated 1.2 million accidents happened every year because drivers are using their cell phones.

More than 20 Texas cities currently have cell phone bans in place. Amarillo Mayor Paul Harpole is in support of a city-wide ban on hand-held cell phone use and texting while driving.

Just down the highway drivers in Canyon are a little less distracted. In May a ban of texting and other hand-held cell phone use was passed. That city ordinance took affect the beginning of this month. Canyon drivers all seemed to be in favor of the ban.

"What's one text for a thousand dollars worth of damage to your car or someone else's car. So, I mean I think it's worth it," Cory Meech says.

"I know some people who have gotten into wrecks texting and driving. So, I definitely think it's a good thing," Eric Wilks says.

One comment stood out. "That would save a lot of lives on the roads," Jonzalo Vega says.

But back in Amarillo, this ban doesn't exist.

Tuesday the commission held a public hearing for residents to speak out on the ban. Both sides of the topic were represented.

The first to speak was a representative from the Realtors Association who read a statement against the ban.

"It is our associations belief that city of Amarillo should continue to enforce laws against wreck less driving and trust the vast majority of it citizens to utilize reasonable judgement when it comes to driving distractions of any kind," Cindi Bulla says.

A speaker in favor of the ban quotes Mayor Harpole as saying we need to create an environment to keep people safe. Others shared personal stories.

"I saw a car yesterday go right through a stop sign while I was running. If I hadn't been watching he would have hit me," a resident says. 

Another public hearing will take place on September 4th to allow residents to speak out on the proposed ban.

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