Second public hearing held on citywide cell phone ban - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Second public hearing held on citywide cell phone ban

AMARILLO, TX- Residents voiced their concerns at a second public hearing at city hall Tuesday over whether to ban cell phone usage while driving. 

While it's still too early to tell if a ban will be implemented, an overwhelming majority of residents who came out to the commissioner's meeting were in favor of putting a stop to cell phone use. 

It was a packed house on the third floor of city hall with concerned citizens from both side of the table taking turns at the podium to express concerns on a mobile device ban. 

"Even though they think they are a responsible driver, anything can happen," resident Kelli Whitney said. 

The average time it takes to dial a number or respond to a text message can take anywhere from 4 to 6 seconds. 

That's enough time to travel the length of a football field and long enough for a tragedy to strike. 

"5 seconds is a really long time when you are driving down the street," Whitney said. "It's like closing your eyes when you're driving." 

Other drivers like Michael Rowley isn't so sure a ban is the solution to curbing dangerous driving habits. 

"There are many drivers who have been able to use these devices while driving," Rowley said. "I don't think the government should punish the majority for the irresponsibility of the few." 

The debate has been a hot topic for the past few years in Texas. 

Many argue it's been too much of a debate because the state legislature is not tackling the issue. 

Instead, the decision is being left up to local governments to implement. 

Commissioner Ellen Robertson Green says more than 3 dozen residents have participated in the two public hearings held thus far. 

The city says they will have at least two more hearings before reaching an agreement. 

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