Amarillo assumes new role

It might be that Amarillo city commissioners’ decision to ban cellphone use while driving is going to start a trend across the state.

Who’da thunk it? Amarillo isn’t known as a municipal trendsetter. That title usually goes to bigger cities with more progressive reputations than little ol’ Amarillo, this outpost on the Caprock. But there might be other cities that follow suit. Could it be Lubbock just down the road, as my pal Enrique Rangel reported today?

State Sen. Kel Seliger, a former Amarillo mayor, calls the city’s decision to enact the ordinance a matter of “local control,” which he and other legislative Republicans say they favor. But history shows that their passion for local control has its limits, such as whether to allow cities complete autonomy on the issue of red-light cameras.

But the issue of local control is an important matter here. Amarillo city commissioner have acted because they perceive a problem on city streets with motorists operating handheld cellphones while driving their motor vehicles.

Good for them. And good for any city that decides to follow Amarillo’s lead.

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