Sugar Land, TX - Sugar Land City Council recently
repealed a new distracted-driving ordinance after the Texas Legislature
approved a less restrictive law that preempts local control.
Sugar Land's law was approved in February and prohibited
the use of portable electronic devices while driving a vehicle in Sugar Land
unless the device was in hands-free mode or being used for an emergency. The
law included portable electronic devices including mobile phones, personal
digital assistants, MP3s or other hand-held music players, electronic reading
devices, laptop computers, pagers, electronic game devices and more.
The new state law preempts all local distracted-driving
ordinances and only prohibits texting while driving. The state's law is difficult to enforce
according to the Sugar Land Police Department.
Sugar Land's distracted driving ordinance was originally
enacted following an extensive education campaign and public review
process. The public was presented with
the following three options and chose to restricted the use of portable electronic
devices while operating a vehicle.
With the state's requirement for a less restrictive law,
Sugar Land police will focus on continued public education to encourage
motorists to avoid the use of electronic devices while driving.