By an almost 2-1 margin, the Texas House of Representatives has passed a bill banning texting while driving.
The goal of the new bill, and like all other distracted driving legislation, is to try and reduce the amount of individuals being seriously injured or killed as the result of a driver paying attention to their phone instead of the road. If approved, Texas would join 39 other states with similar distracted driving laws.
The stipulations of this specific bill are not uncommon, prohibiting motorists from reading or writing an email or text. Those who are caught will be fined $100 for their first offense and $200 for the second. The problem, however, might be actually catching violators.
Since the bill states that drivers cannot be ticketed for using electronic devises such as GPS, looking up a phone number, or using it for an emergency, it could end up being tricky for officers to differentiate between the two and prove accordingly. Thus, the door has been left open for drivers to still find a way to use their electronic devices, still taking their attention off the primary task at hand, driving safely.
It is this sort wariness that has many legislators divided on whether this action is even the answer to the growing problem. Many believe that this bill will have no affect on the reduction of vehicle.
Among those is Governor Rick Perry, who has been very straightforward in his eagerness to veto the bill. He believes that it is the responsibility of the driver to make intelligent, safe decisions while driving and will use his power as Governor to make sure that the bill is not passed into law.
Nonetheless, legislation and vetoes aside, the problem of distracted driving is not going anywhere. Even states that have passed distracted driving laws prohibiting the act are seeing the problem grow, making the solution far from being found.
Due to this, it is imperative that drivers exercise extra caution while driving and look out for those who might be looking down on their phone instead of at the road. Even doing this, sometimes accidents are unavoidable, in which case having an experienced, knowledgeable attorney can be a huge catalyst in your recovery.