Local News

Oct 7, 2013 6:26 PM by Caroline Flores - cflores@kristv.com

CCPD Prepares to Enforce Distracted Driver Ordinance

CORPUS CHRISTI - The Corpus Christi Police Department is preparing to crackdown on distracted drivers. An ordinance could be approved Tuesday morning making it illegal for drivers to use a cell phone behind the wheel.

The war against distracted drivers is a fight the chief of police has been fighting for some time now. Tomorrow if council approves the ordinance, he says he could be one step closer to winning.

"It's a tool we can add to our tool box that will allow us to pull people over who are participating in what we know to be a very dangerous thing," said Police Chief Floyd Simpson.

The chief says all his officers are more than ready to begin enforcing the new ordinance. He says the rules to the ordinance are easy enough for both officers and residents to understand.

"If you're driving around with your cell phone to your ear, you're in violation. If you're texting and driving, you're in violation," said Chief Simpson.

So if the ordinance does pass Tuesday, the Chief says two officers will dedicate half of their job to being in unmarked vehicles. They will go around town to try and find drivers who are talking or texting on their cell phones.

The new ordinance has been added as a violation into their electronic ticket writers. So if you get pulled over for violating the new ordinance you can face a $500 fine. Plus you will have to take either a defensive driving class or a course for aggressive drivers.

"It's an issue that's plaguing our community and it's problematic. And either we can ignore it, or we can do something about it. And I choose to try and do something about it," said Chief Simpson.

So if the ordinance passes, officers will begin pulling people over this Wednesday. But you won't get a ticket, only a warning. The Police Department has decided there will be a 30 day grace period for drivers, so they can get used to the new ordinance.

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