A texting while driving ban is being worked on by lawmakers in the state of Texas for a fifth time. Families of victims killed in distracted driving accidents appeared before lawmakers earlier this month to plead with officials to pass a law governing distracted driving.
The legislation proposed has been done so five times by a Democratic senator from Laredo and the fourth time by a Republican representative from Midland. The lawmakers want to ban texting while driving completely in the state of Texas.
AT&T was even on hand to let lawmakers and victims’ families use a Texting While Driving Simulator. The laws proposed, House Bill 62 and Senate Bill 31, would turn using a phone while driving into a misdemeanor crime. It would come with a fine ranging from $25 to $99. Repeat offenders would be subject to fines of up to $200.
A Democratic representative from Brownsville said, “I’m disheartened to say that we’re still at it. This is what drinking and driving used to be to previous generations.”
The bill easily passed in the House during the 2015 legislative session, but did not even reach the Senate floor because it failed to gain enough votes. The bill came close to being passed back in 2011, but was vetoed when it hit the desk of former Governor Rick Perry. Perry claimed that the law was being used to have the government mismanage the actions of adults.
The Chief of the Traffic Enforcement Unit in Houston said that he needs this bill to pass in order to stop distracted driving. The city of Houston has more fatal accidents than any other city in the state of Texas.
Texas is just one of four states that does not have a ban on texting while driving. Some 95 counties in Texas have local laws that ban some form of cellphone use while driving.
An experienced personal injury attorney can inform you of your rights in vehicle rollovers caused by distracted drivers in Houston, Texas.
Source: Dallas News, “Texas lawmakers will try to ban texting while driving for the fifth time,” Dagney Pruner, Feb. 02, 2017