Hands-Free Austin

beautiful woman is safely talking phone in a car using a bluetooth headset


Avoid fines of up to $500.00. The hands-free initiative aims to increase safety by decreasing distractions while driving.

What’s NOT ALLOWED Using portable devices while driving in Austin will be a citable offense as of January 1, 2015.

Vehicles & Bicycles – The Law

Ordinance No. 20140828-041 amending section 12-1-34 of the City Code prohibits the use of all hand-held portable electronic devices while operating a vehicle or bicycle. This includes:

  • mobile phone
  • personal digital assistant
  • MP3 or other hand-held music player
  • electronic reading device
  • laptop computer
  • pager
  • broadband personal communication device
  • GPS or navigation system
  • electronic gaming device
  • portable computing device


No Texting, No Distractions

Ordinance No. 20091022-028 and Ordinance No. 20091217-090, commonly known as the texting-while driving ban, prohibit the use of phones, tablets, or other devices used to compose an electronic message while moving. Distractions include:

  • mobile phone texting
  • using a cell phone for any reason
  • eating and drinking
  • talking to passengers
  • grooming
  • reading, including maps
  • use of a navigation system
  • watching a video
  • adjusting a radio, CD player or MP3 Player

Exceptions ALLOWED

  • In the event of an emergency, such as dialing 911 or 311 to report a crime or accident, hand-held cell phone use is tolerated.
  • Drivers may send or compose messages while at a complete stop.

For more details visit: http://www.austintexas.gov/handsfree