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      Amarillo talks citywide ban on texting while driving

      Texting while driving in a school zone in Amarillo is illegal and eventually, that ban could go citywide.

      Wednesday, the Amarillo Traffic Commission talked about the possibility of a citywide ban on texting while driving.

      "They wanted input as to if we need an ordinance, is an ordinance feasible," said Amarillo Traffic Engineer, Taylor Withrow. "Are there some other things we could do instead or in conjunction with the city wide ban."

      They looked at information from Austin, which has had a city wide ban on texting while driving in effect for the past two years. During those two years, Austin only issued 310 citations for individuals breaking that ban, a relatively small number for such a large city.

      Because that number seems so low, discussion during the Traffic Commission's meeting Wednesday turned to the difficulty of enforcing such a law.

      "The difficulty comes with enforcing it," said Traffic Commission Chairman, D.J. Stubben. "But our wonderful police department is good about observing the drivers to see if they're driving erratically or anything then they can pull them over for another misdemeanor."

      N o action was taken on this issue during the meeting but will be discussed again at the next Traffic Commission meeting in January.