State Senator Speaks Out on Texting Ban
In Texas, the problem of distracted driving is getting worse and worse. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, one fifth of all accidents in the state are caused by distracted drivers. In 2014 alone, distracted driving was involved in over 100,000 car accidents, 3,200 serious injuries, and 468 deaths. These accidents, injuries, and deaths could have been prevented by an alert, focused driver. Texting while driving, especially, can have tragic consequences.
In response to these shocking statistics, over 40 cities in our state have passed bans on texting while driving. While this is a good trend, many argue that Texas needs a statewide texting ban to save lives and prevent needless injuries. State Senator Judith Zaffirini and Rep. Tom Craddick have filed the Alex Brown Memorial Act, named after a victim of a distracted driving accident. The Texas House has already approved the ban. If the texting ban is passed, it will make texting while driving a misdemeanor, punishable with a fine of up to $99 on the first offense and $200 for additional infractions. In addition, the Texas Department of Transportation would be required to put up signs alerting drivers to the ban,
“The main thing we need to say it, it is a safety issue in this state- driving is not a privilege,” says Craddick. “It’s our responsibility as legislators to put forth the tools that the [Department of Public Safety] and other police officers in this state need to make it safe on our highways and streets.”
44 other states have already passed similar bans.