Texas Texting Ban Nears: Texas Legislature Takes Steps to Join Majority of Nation in Banning Texting and Driving
Texting and driving is dangerous. Texting and driving leads to accidents. Texting and driving has killed thousands and injured many, many more. Texting and driving is banned by 39 states and the District of Columbia. However, Texas has still not banned texting and driving. During its last session, the Texas Legislature passed a texting ban, but for unknown reasons, Rick Perry vetoed the bill, which was supported by the majority of the Texas public, passed by the Texas House and Senate, and aimed directly at increasing roadway safety. San Antonio and 24 other cities in Texas have their own bans on texting and driving, even if the state hasn’t quite caught up so far.
It’s possible that may be changing, although it’s still there’s still a chance that Governor Perry will stop this effort again. Texas state lawmakers are once again trying to change the law and save lives, as the Texas House will discuss another bill that would make it illegal for driver to “read, write or send a text-based communication while operating a motor vehicle unless the vehicle is stopped.”
Unfortunately, Perry has suggested that he will veto the new bill, as well, if it should reach his desk, saying: “The key to dissuading drivers from texting while they drive is information and education, not government micromanagement.”
Texas drivers should know that “information and education” don’t seem to be working, because texting is still a common habit that experts say is almost as deadly as driving drunk. In 2012, according to Texas Department of Transportation data, there were about 90,000 distracted driving crashes in Texas , which killed 453 people and seriously injured 18,400 others. Nationally, in 2011, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data shows that nearly one out of every six traffic accidents that caused bodily injury involved a distracted driver.
Since Texas has failed to pass laws to protect all roadways and all drivers in Texas, Texas cities are forced to pass their own laws to protect their local citizens. San Antonio, Texas has a texting ban in place. The Mayor of Houston is pushing for a ban in Harris County, Texas as well. If Texas fails to act, again, it is likely Texas cities will continue to pass common-sense safety laws that the Texas Governor’s office has inexplicably blocked.