Texting While Driving Likely to Become Illegal Statewide

On March 15, the Texas House passed a measure that would ban texting while driving statewide. The bill was approved 113-32 and will face a final vote in the House before moving to the Senate. The Senate has already passed a similar bill. Should the bill become law, Texas will join the 46 other states that have bans on texting while driving.

The penalties for texting while driving will be a misdemeanor charge and a fine between $25 and $99. For repeat offenders, the fine would increase to $100 to $200.

A texting while driving ban nearly became law in 2011, but it was vetoed by former Gov. Rick Perry on the grounds that it would “micromanage the behavior of adults.”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that eight people die every day in the United States due to texting while driving. This legislation, called “common-sense” legislation by proponents, would aim to reduce that rate.

There are opponents to the rule on both sides of the political aisle. One Houston Democrat, Rep. Harold Dutton Jr., believes that it is too difficult for law enforcement officers to tell when a person is actually texting versus doing something else, like using GPS.

A texting ban could reduce the rate of fatal car accidents caused by distracted driving, but is it enough? Sound off in the comments on how you feel about the texting ban.



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