For all the out-of-towners coming to SXSW (and there are a few I imagine) you should know that the City of Austin has passed a new ordinance *banning* the use of mobile devices while operating a motor vehicle or bike.
I know you are all thinking, “WHAT?! How am I supposed to update my lunch pic to Twitter/Facebook/Snapchat/Foursquare/My FoodPr0n site?”
It’s go hands free. I admit I have been guilty of near constant use of my mobile device (my nose print is etched in the screen), but have discovered the “Hey Siri” functionality while charging is very handy to have the AI read my messages and allow me to dictate replies while having both hands on the wheel.
Here is an excerpt from the ordinance below, full deets can be found here
Unless using a hands-free system such as Bluetooth or headphones, or a GPS system, use of portable devices while driving a car or operating a bike will be a citable offense beginning Jan. 1, 2015.
As defined in Ordinance No. 20140828-041, portable electronic device means a hand-held,
- Mobile telephone
- personal digital assistant
- MP3 or other hand-held music player
- electronic reading device
- laptop computer
- broadband personal communication device
- GPS or navigation system
- electronic gaming device
- portable computing device
Hand-held cell phone use is permitted in the event of an emergency such calling 9-1-1 or 3-1-1 to report a crime or an accident. Even in an emergency situation, it is best to pull over and come to a complete stop before using or operating any mobile or hand-held device.
The fine can be up to $500, so either curtail your use while driving or budget for the fine.