Hands-Free Enforcement Begins in Lakeway

The grace period for the City of Lakeway hands-free ordinance has ended. The ordinance that requires all motor vehicle drivers and bicyclists to use only hands-free electronic devices is now being enforced, as of July 1.

With the ordinance it is prohibited to use a hand-held cell phone or other mobile device while operating a motor vehicle or bicycle, including for engaging a call; sending, reading, or writing a text message; viewing pictures or written text; gaming or using apps; and any other use. “Engaging” a device was clarified to mean dialing, talking, or listening on a hand-held device, but does not include holding the device to activate it or to deactivate it.

Note: Unlike the City of Austin, it is prohibited for drivers to use mobile devices while stopped at stoplights.

Exceptions for use include for drivers legally parked, on private property, communicating with emergency personnel, reporting a crime, or using a hands-free phone.

Fines range from $100 for a first offense, up to $500.

Lakeway Police Chief Todd Radford said, “This ordinance mirrors those passed by the cities of Austin and Bee Cave. By adopting this ordinance, the city is working to reduce the increasing number of accidents caused by distracted drivers in Lakeway.”