What exactly does 'hands-free' mean?
The words "hands-free" should be self-explanatory, but San Antonio drivers are still trying to figure out what exactly qualifies as hands-free.
Officer Marcus Trujillo with the San Antonio Police Department explains:
"As far as the hands-free ordinance goes – the new ordinance that went into full effect the very first of this year, there's still some confusion with some folks as to who that applies to. I've gotten several emails asking does this apply to all the passengers or just the front passenger? Actually, it doesn't apply to any of the passengers. It only applies to the operator of the vehicle. Another one of the common questions that I've received a lot through the email over the last couple of weeks is is it considered a hands-free device if I hold the phone between my ear and my shoulder? And the answer is no. The way the ordinance is written it's fairly clear that you cannot be touching the phone itself. You can either carry on a conversation through a wireless device – such as a Bluetooth, a wired ear piece or use the speaker function on the cell phone itself. But you can't hold it. You can't prop it up between your ear and your shoulder. It has to be away from you.
One of the other things that's not considered a hands-free device is using the old fashioned basketball headbands to hold the phone to your ear. That's not acceptable either.
You cannot hold the phone, dial, speak directly into or listen to, so it covers it being there and you not physically holding it with your hands.
You can touch it to activate it and deactivate it because most phones, unless you have one of the latest generation Bluetooth speakers connected to your phone with one of the latest generation phones, most phones there is some sort of activation button that you have to hit prior to it accepting voice commands."
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