About the Ordinance

Thousands of people die every year in crashes related to distracted driving. Using handheld devices takes more attention away from driving than other types of distractions.

Following an extensive public outreach process, Sugar Land residents voiced their preference for the second of the two ordinance options – even when asked whether they preferred no ordinance at all.


Ordinance Purpose

  1. Improve roadway safety for all vehicle operators, passengers, bicyclists, pedestrians, and other road users;
  2. Prevent crashes related to the act of using a portable electronic device while driving a motor vehicle;
  3. Reduce injuries, death, property damage, health care costs, health insurance and automobile insurance rates related to motor vehicle crashes; and
  4. Authorize law enforcement officers to stop vehicles and issue citations to persons using a portable electronic device while driving as a standard offense.

Key Definitions

  • Hands-free Device means speakerphone capability or a telephone attachment or other piece of equipment, regardless of whether permanently installed in the motor vehicle, that allows use of the Portable Electronic Device without use of either of the operator’s hands.
  • Portable Electronic Device means a portable hand held mobile telephone, personal digital assistant, MP3 or other hand-held music player, electronic reading device, laptop computer, pager, broadband personal communications device, global positioning or navigation system, electronic game device, or portable computing device. This term includes “Wireless Communication Devices” as defined in Texas Transportation Code section 545.425.


  1. First responders, while on-duty;
  2. Making an emergency call to the police department, fire department or for emergency medical service;
  3. Driving while the device is in Bluetooth or hands free mode; and
  4. When the vehicle is stopped.

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