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Texting and driving ban to be presented to Abilene City Council

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ABILENE, Texas - Abilene Police Chief Stan Standridge will present the first reading of an ordinance that could ban texting and driving inside city limits Thursday.

If passed by Abilene City Council, the fine for breaking the ordinance could range anywhere from $50 to $500.

"It would prohibit a driver from looking at their phone to view or to send or to compose an electronic message," Standridge said.

According to AAA, sending a text message while driving takes a driver's eyes off the road for 4.6 seconds. At 55 mph, that's the equivalent a driving the length of a football field while blindfolded.

Standridge told KTXS the department answered 3,400 traffic accident calls in 2015, and he thinks the ban will bring that number down.

Bailee Bunnell says she pulls over to send text messages because she lost a good friend to a texting and driving accident.

"It's just 30 seconds," Bunnell said." "I do it because I don't want to kill myself or anybody else."

Standridge said the way the ordinance is written now would allow drivers to use certain applications.

"Like if you're using an app for finding your way through the city of Abilene, that wouldn't be prohibited," Standridge said.

If it passes the first reading, the ordinance will then be reviewed and voted on by city council members.

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