Illegal passenger seat selfies? Safety advocate pushes for stricter hands-free ordinance in Austin

The city's Public Safety Commission heard recommendations from transportation safety advocate Scott Johnson.

AUSTIN - City leaders decided not to take action on a series of proposals that would make Austin's hands-free ordinance more strict.

The city's Public Safety Commission heard recommendations from transportation safety advocate Scott Johnson.
He was a member of the work group that helped draft the original ordinance in 2014.

One of his suggestions is to prohibit a passenger from taking photos or taking and playing back videos inside the car. It's a practice he says could cause real harm.

"When you distract the attention of a driver either knowingly or unknowingly, that person has something in their control that can create damage to people, damage to property as well, and in some cases, they're not brought to justice," Johnson said.

Johnson also recommended the ordinance be amended to include a measure to prohibit drivers from using their phones at a stop light, and another to keep drivers from using headphones that cover their ears.

The Public Safety Commission plans to bring Johnson back for to talk more about this in the coming months.

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