Ban on Texting While Driving Once Again on Horizon in Texas
Jul 6, 2017
Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) July 6, 2017 – Texas House Bill 62 (HB 62) bans texting while driving. Currently, over 100 Texas cities have texting while driving ordinances. However, HB 62 would override these city codes.
A survey done by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in 2011 revealed that over two-thirds of Americans, ranging in age from 18-64, texted while driving within 30 days of being surveyed. Another study, completed in 2013, showed distracted driving caused 18 percent of injury accidents. In fact, there were over 3,000 fatal accidents in 2013. According to the Texas Department of Transport (TxDOT) there are more than 100,000 wrecks caused each year by distracted drivers.
House Bill 62, sponsored by Midland Rep. Tom Craddick, lays out fines for distracted drivers caught texting, posting to social media or sending emails. The first offense would consist of up to $99 and $200 for further offenses. The ban would not be applicable to those using a cellphone as a music device or as a GPS.
The bill proposes making texting while driving a class A misdemeanor if an accident occurs that seriously injures or kills someone. The bill allows prosecution of the act when any police officer witnesses the violation or the violation is established by other evidence.
The texting ban proposal was once much-debated and met with fierce opposition from, a former nay-sayer, Senator J. Huffman who says, “The time has come for the state of Texas to pass this law . . . this is going to save our kids’ lives”
“How it will be implemented and rolled out may still cause some concerns, but for now, it appears that Texas has joined several other states in making an attempt to reduce the number of traffic deaths due to distracted driving,” said Austin car injury attorney, Brooks Schuelke.
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