Texas Lawmakers Mull Ban On Texting While Driving

AUSTIN (AP/KRLD) – Members of the state House of Representatives have come together to create legislation to institute a statewide ban on texting while driving.

The House Transportation Committee heard testimony Wednesday from supporters of the bill. The hearing was delayed after former House Speaker Tom Craddick collapsed while testifying. Aides say he quickly regained consciousness.

The family of Alex Brown, a West Texas girl who died in a one-car accident while she was texting in 2009, warned of the dangers of texting and driving at a  Capitol news conference.

“You’re 23 times more likely to have a wreck, and it doesn’t matter if you’re a new driver or an experienced driver,” said Alex’s mother Jeannie Brown.

KRLD’s Robert Wood Reports

It’s already against the law to use a cell phone in a school zone in Texas. Drivers under the age of 18 can’t use a phone at all while driving.

Advocates of the legislation say it is necessary to continue making roadways safer for everyone.

Brown and her husband still have Alex’s smashed truck and they take it to high schools across the state, hoping to convince kids that texting and driving isn’t worth it.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


One Comment

  1. Rick McDaniel says:

    they will pass a law…….and absolutely not a single person will pay it any attention, whatsoever, and the police have zero ways in which to enforce the law.

    1. Ron says:

      Rick, you’re right, nobody will pay attention as evident by the law which went into effect January 2010 which bans the use of hand held phones while driving in Oregon. Majority of the people I see on the road in Portland blatantly ignore the law and yes incredibly, I see people texting while driving.

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    2. Michael Simpson says:

      actually they do! They can scan the phone without you even knowing it and it sends a signal to the carrier to inform them when the last call or text was made. However the rarely write tickets for it and it only becomes a major factor if there is an accident.

    3. clairtx says:

      No one will pay attention until they get caught breaking the law. It’s a simple matter to subpoena cell phone records to obtain a conviction. That’s what people will pay attention to.

  2. Pete says:

    Whether or not People obey the law is not the issue. The result of the law will be to take the texting out of the hands of many who will respect the law, or fear the law. Those who disobey the law and are involved in accidents will pay a steep penalty. This would be analogous to drinking and driving.

    1. RussP says:

      I agrred with your comments up until you mentioned steep penalties and drinking and driving. From the number of deaths caused by drunken drivers with multiple convictions, obviously the penalties are not steep enough.

      I agree this law should pass though along with one banning cell phones while driving; it would lessen but not eliminate the problem. As Jim Morrison sang, “keep your eyes on the road and your hands upon the wheel”.

  3. Patrick Wingfield says:

    they should. it’s as bad or worse than drunk driving. Should ban cell phone use, too. Drivers are not paying attention, especiallly women, I swear every single one of them is on the phone.

    1. Mimi says:

      It will apply to all user, not just women

      1. Mel says:

        Ha! Agreed its not just women at all..we are ALL guilty…heck the POLICE text while driving..pass them doing it ALL the time. I have seen city bus drivers texting while driving..its a joke.

  4. Iam Skycake says:

    Texting while driving kills more each year in the US then terrorists did on 9/11.

    It’s not terrorism when companies like AT&T donate money to politicians in order to keep texting intact while innocent people are killed and maimed every day.

  5. Richard says:

    There are already laws in EVERY state that could be used to prohibit the use of cell phones – for anything – while any vehicle is moving on a public road… The police just do not enforce these laws – my guess is they are being paid, one way or the other by the cell phone industry, not to enforce the laws already on the books that would cover this… So, New laws will fail for the same reason!

    1. RussP says:

      I always thought this was the case but wasn’t sure. When I received my first commercial license, the tester required both hands on the wheel except when shifting gears and gave me the impression it was the law. It seems this is common practice with goverment today, don’t enforce existing laws that already cover a problem but write new ones that may or may not be enforced.

  6. Mimi says:

    I cringe everytime I see a teenager or adult texting while driving. I believe it should be against the law also. But it is not just women. Almost all business peopel use their cell in their cars!

  7. Mimi says:

    Sorry about the typo on people

  8. Ron says:

    We have a law in Oregon which bans the use of hand held cell phones while driving. Oregon law enforcement has issued over 2000 citations since the law took effect January 2010 and carries a $142 fine but the majority of drivers ignore the law. Perhaps the fine should be increased.

    1. Mimi says:

      Maybe they should be able to confiscate the handheld phone?

      1. les says:

        i agree and a 500.00 dollar fine.

  9. tonyd says:

    Considering you morons, it is the unsafest thing I ever saw anybody do while driving. Stop it immediately. Whats the debate about, who will pay the most to have you not vote it in?

  10. judy says:

    How many times have we seen someone driving 10 mph under the speed limit, almost for sure a woman DWT

  11. James Stone says:

    Will the people running the government ever figure out that you don’t change people behavior with a law? If we could don’t you think we would have eliminated drunk driving, drugs, prostitution? They should jam the cell signals every so often on the highways and people would figure out driving and talking/texting/surfing isn’t feasible unless they pull over. And I don’t really care about the passengers – they can do without also.

  12. Jason says:

    yes…that’s all we need now is more laws 😦

  13. mtntexas says:

    In Ft Lauderdale they’ve outlawed girls from weraying thongs because they caused wrecks. Why not pass a law making it illegal to look at butts while driving. Hooters, too. And tuning thye radio can be distracting. Why not force vehicle owners to have their cd radios removed. And wives that talk while we’re driving can send us over the median… how about banning wives and girlfriends? Then there are crying babies and shouting kids! Let’s outlaw ANYONE but the driver being in the car at one time. And NO singing!

  14. mtntexas says:

    Wait! Wait… no cars! We won’t have any wrecks if cars are outlawed and we won’t be dependent on foreign oil! There you are lawboys, eat it up with a spoon. This could make your worthless existence seem important and even justify your felonius bribe sucking public offices. Time to go Ape$hit.

  15. Stan Hampton says:

    The same law that is in Mexico City should apply here. when you purchase a cell you also receive a blue tooth, mandatory you not talk or text while driving. Still poor drivers admittedly, but hopefully get the get it started anyway!

  16. David says:

    Anyone who thinks it’s a bad idea to have a hands free law AND to have it enforced is frighteningly uneducated. We are operating potentially deadly equipment. Why should we be allowed to pay attention to anything else but the road and other drivers, This is not only YOUR life at stake, but your child’s, wife, husband or anyone you love.

    I am probably one of the few people who wish that Dallas police would actually enforce traffic laws. There is such a high occurance of multi car accidents in Dallas due to all of the tailgating, failure to signal and general careless and aggressive driving – it’s really very scary.

  17. scott says:

    an automatic $900. fine would end this stupidity in a flash. this apalling lack of consideration for the safety of pedestrians as well as compliant drivers must be dealt with resolutely and with swift execution.

  18. scott says:

    municipal and state judges should engage a statewide media blitz along with police chiefs and DPS chiefs telling the public we are at war with texting and driving and that these fines will be levied effective immediately.

  19. john in texas says:

    I use to count cars at inst and you have no idea what i must have seen ban them all and save lives mine and yours or your keds

  20. Ron says:

    A few months ago here in Portland, I guy passed me on the freeway and noticed he was typing on laptop propped up on the steering wheel. He was either incredibly talented or stupid.

    1. RussP says:

      1 vote for stupid.

  21. Mike dallas texas says:

    Texas Lawmakers need to address the States budget problems and fix that rather than put another worry wart law on the tax paying Citizens .

  22. Wayne says:

    I guess the new law would eliminate some of the traffic problems….Ever see a mexican or black WITHOUT a cell phone driving 45 M.P.H. on the freeway???

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