Texas lawmakers introduced a bill that would ban texting while driving throughout the state. Currently, 44 states have an anti-texting law on the books. It is time for Texas to join the rest of the country in putting an end to this dangerous roadway distraction.
But Governor Abbott Is Likely to Veto Bill
The current anti-texting bill has wide bipartisan support, a rarity in the Texas legislature. In addition, several mobile phone providers and insurance companies have endorsed the proposed restrictions on texting and talking on the phone while driving. Seems like the only person not onboard with the legislation is the governor.
When the topic was brought up during last year’s gubernatorial elections, Gov. Greg Abbott’s spokesperson said, “He is against additional government mandates that micromanage adult driving behavior.” Yet we already ban texting in school zones and by certain people.
A similar anti-texting bill passed the House and the Senate in 2011, only to be vetoed by then Governor Rick Perry, citing the refusal to “micromanage” excuse. In 2013, a texting ban bill died in the Senate after Governor Perry again signaled he would veto it.
40 Texas Cities Pass Anti-Texting Ordinances
Already 40 Texas cities have passed ordinances that prohibit
texting while driving, including Arlington and Denton here in the DFW area and other major cities like Austin, Corpus Christi, El Paso, Galveston, Laredo and San Antonio. Some local laws also prohibit use of all handheld devices. Lawmakers in these towns understand the danger and got
tired of waiting for the Texas legislature to do the right thing.
However, the multiple ordinances
create a patchwork of laws that are confusing to drivers and make
enforceability more difficult. Drivers in Dallas, Fort Worth and
elsewhere have no protection from irresponsible texting drivers. The
Texas legislature needs to pass an ordinance that promotes safety to all drivers on all roads across the state.
Statistics Prove the Anti-Texting Law is Necessary
3,328 people were killed and 421 were injured in distracted driver-related auto accidents
in 2012, according to Distraction.org. At any given moment during the
day, about 660,000 drivers are handling their electronic devices while
driving on roads throughout America.
While typing or reading a text message, drivers take their eyes off the road for an average of
five seconds. To understand how long this is, set a stopwatch to five
seconds and close your eyes. Now imagine driving during that time.
Pretty scary, right?
Let your legislators and governor know you support this crucial law.
Support Texas Texting Ban Law
A Texas texting ban statute would make our roadways safer for drivers. Berenson Law Firm remains an advocate for victims of accidents caused by texting drivers.