Text and Drive, Expect to Pay a Big Fine in This City

Local News

The “90 day grace period” for texting and driving in San Benito will be up less than 3 weeks.

After May 82017, if a driver is caught with a cell phone in their hand while driving, in the city or on the highway expect a fine up to $500.

“If we can see the screen and your little things going whatever it is you know more than likely you’re going to get stopped.” said San Benito Chief of Police Michael Galvan.


San Benito City Council passed a texting while driving ban, Ordinance No. 2539, February 7, 2017. As of April, Texas lawmakers continue to discuss the details on how to prove a driver was in fact texting or using their phone for other purposes such as GPS navigation. Chief Galvan said the ban has a dual purpose. “It builds probable cause and you’d be surprised something as small as failing to signal before making a turn or changing lanes could lead to a narcotics carrier. It can lead to all kinds of things, this is just one more law in the books for us to enforce that could lead to other crimes.”


The dual purpose and state’s discussion has some residents feel the ban is an invasion of privacy and a way to make money. Chief Galvan understands but public safety is top priority, “Bottom line if they’re texting and they crash and the officers have to go out there and to do traffic control for the accident and all that time, there’s spent doing that it’s just less time they’re patrolling their neighborhoods.”

Chief Galvan said the ban is not about making money off the community through unarguable fines, it’s about saving lives and keeping officers on patrol, “criminal take advantage of that no visibility they’ll see that there’s no police officers around so they know that the coast is clear so they’re going to said breaking into stuff stealing stuff and whatever they want.”


There is no current state law banning texting and driving leaving cities to pass ordinances on their own accord.

However, last week, House Bill 62 has cleared the Texas House of Representatives and a counterpart bill, Senate Bill 31 is headed to the Texas Senate for a vote.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


COVID Tip: Wash Your Hands

Thumbnail for the video titled "COVID Tip: Wash Your Hands"

COVID Tip: Cover When Coughing and Sneezing

Thumbnail for the video titled "COVID Tip: Cover When Coughing and Sneezing"

COVID Tip: Disinfecting

Thumbnail for the video titled "COVID Tip: Disinfecting"

COVID Tip: Cover Your Mouth

Thumbnail for the video titled "COVID Tip: Cover Your Mouth"

COVID Tip: Avoid Close Contact

Thumbnail for the video titled "COVID Tip: Avoid Close Contact"

COVID-19 Tip: Disinfect Areas

Thumbnail for the video titled "COVID-19 Tip: Disinfect Areas"

COVID-19 Tip: Wash Hands Often

Thumbnail for the video titled "COVID-19 Tip: Wash Hands Often"

ValleyCentral App Links

App Store Link
Google Play Link

Inside RGV Politics

More Inside RGV Politics
More Throwback Thursday