Last legislative session, Governor Rick Perry vetoed a bill passed by both houses that banned texting while driving anywhere in the state. Perry acknowledged it was inappropriate to text while driving, but did not want government to become a micromanager of adult behavior. Texas is one of only 11 states that do not ban texting while driving. State Representative Tom Craddick (a Republican from Midland) has indicated he will try to pass the bill again in the 2013 legislative session. But the governor’s veto has not deterred cities throughout the state from passing their own bans.
Currently, there are at least 28 cities that have banned texting while driving (or some form of cellphone use while driving) including bigger cities such as Austin and San Antonio. The Texas Tribune notes that it is becoming more and more evident that the use of cellphones while driving enhances the risk of accidents, injuries and deaths. Citing studies by the Texas Department of Transportation, the number of traffic fatalities linked to some form of cellphone use has increased almost 50 percent between 2006 and 2010. These types of numbers make it understandable why a statewide ban would be appropriate.
While there are some who believe we need less control by the government over the conduct of adults, it is a weak argument to make. Criminal laws prohibit drinking and driving, taking drugs and driving, and the ingestion of any type of substance that would affect the faculties of a driver. This next legislative session, maybe Governor Perry will head the will of the legislature and sign this bill.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident by a driver who was texting while driving, contact the attorneys at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner by calling 713-396-3964 or 800-594-4884.