Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) March 7, 2017 – Texas is one out of four states that do not have a statewide texting ban. This year, however, might bring change.
Texas lawmakers are revisiting the attempt to pass a statewide texting ban in the hopes of having it save lives. According to statistics from 2014, about 483 out of 3,534 deaths from traffic crashes in Texas involve a distracted driver.
Parents who have lost loved ones in distracted driving accidents are pushing for a law to put into place to stop the carnage. In 2015, one family of five lost two of three children in a horrific rear-end crash. The man that hit the family’s vehicle was driving while distracted.
2017 is the fourth legislative session in a row where a bill banning texting while driving has been proposed. House Bill 62 (HB 62), is also referred to as the “Alex Brown Memorial Act,” named after a high school student involved in a crash while texting. Although there are state laws that address banning texting in school zones, preventing drivers under 18 years of age from texting and prohibiting bus drivers with minor passengers from texting, there is still no statewide ban.
Opponents to a statewide texting ban feel that the proposed law is not the way to address the problem and that it would be unenforceable.
Many Texas cities, such as San Antonio and Arlington, and many others, have outlawed distracted driving. If passed, HB 62 and the companion Senate Bill 31, would make it a criminal offense for someone to use a wireless communication device while driving, unless the vehicle was stopped.
If the Bill passed through the legislature, it would become law by September 1, 2017 and violations would be misdemeanor crimes with fines between $25 and $99 for first time offenders. For repeat offenders fines would jump to between $100 and $200.
“The roads are dangerous,” said Bobby Lee, a respected personal injury attorney in Austin. “It’s outrageous to watch the death and carnage taking place out there and know that it is totally preventable by using some basic common sense. Would a law stop it? Possibly. However, it’s a place to start.”
For further information on which states have distracted driving bans, visit: http://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/laws/cellphonelaws?topicName=distracted-driving
To learn more, visit http://www.lgrlawfirm.com
Lee, Gober & Reyna
11940 Jollyville Road #220-S
Austin, Texas 78759
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