CORPUS CHRISTI - A ban on the use of handheld cell phones while driving is now on the books for the City of Corpus Christi. Police Chief Floyd Simpson says his officers will issue warnings during a 30-day grace period for those caught texting, talking, or using the GPS on their handheld phone.
Two patrol officers will spend half of their day looking for people violating the ban. If caught, you face a fine up to $500 and may be ordered to attend a defensive driving course.
It is legal to use a bluetooth adapter or another type of hands free device while driving. The law only applies when your vehicle is moving.
Police officers are allowed to use their phones for official business, but could face internal discipline if they're caught using it for other purposes while driving.
The ban does not apply to cell phone use on private property.
The ordinance does provide exceptions for people making an emergency call to 911, a hospital, health clinic or a doctor's office.