Archive for the ‘Texting while driving accidents’ Category

Texas considers statewide ban on texting and driving

15 Texas families who have lost loved ones to motor vehicle accidents involving texting while driving appeared at a briefing at the Texas capitol building to show their support for the Alex Brown Memorial Act. The bill prohibits drivers from using a cell phone to type, read or send a text message while operating their vehicle, though it would allow a driver to text if they were outside a travel lane and the vehicle was stopped. Fines would range from $25 to $200. The proposed ban on texting and driving would be statewide. There are already some localized bans on using cell phones in school zones. This is the fourth time that Senator Judith Zaffirini has proposed the ban.

Texas Dept. of Transportation data shows that cell phone use causing distracted driving killed 52 people in Texas in 2014, and in 2013 there were 459 fatal crashes involving a distracted driver, of which 56 deaths were caused by cell phone use.

A bill previously passed both chambers in 2011 but was vetoed by Governor Rick Perry. Critics of the proposed ban say that it won’t be effective and people will text and drive anyway. That’s not a very effective argument. You could say the same about speed limits on roads: why have speed limits when people are going to speed anyway. If speed limits were removed some people would drive dangerously fast because there would be no consequences to doing so. Perhaps if there was a consequence to driving distracted by texting, less people would do it and we’d all be safer.

Texas lawmakers consider a statewide ban on texting while driving

Texas lawmakers are considering whether to ban texting while driving across the Lone Star State. There are 10 bills that have been filed in Austin: Senate Bill 138 would ban texting while driving except when using a hands-free device. House Bill 93 provides for a penalty of up to $200 for texting while driving, and another bill (HB103) doubles that fine in school zones. A Channel 11 News article however reports that the various bills don’t seem to be getting much traction and suggests a couple of possible reasons why: telephone company lobbyists or lack of public interest. In the Houston area six cities have banned texting while driving recently: Conroe, Missouri City, West University Place, Bellaire, Alvin and Galveston. Missouri City‘s ban has been in effect since last June, so for about 10 months, however thus far Missouri City P.D. has issued only 5 citations for texting while driving. Only 11 citations have been issued in Galveston and none have been issued in West University Place.

San Antonio bus driver given 30-days jail in texting while driving accident

Adrian Alfredo Perez, 29, a former public bus driver in San Antonio, was ordered to serve 30 days in jail yesterday for what prosecutors say is the first conviction in Bexar County for reckless driving that is directly related to texting. His attorney had asked for probation, 30 days was the maximum sentence the driver could receive. Perez was driving a Metropolitan Transit vehicle when he crashed into the back of an SUV while traveling 34MPH: prior to the wreck he had been checking text messages on his cell phone. His sentence was decided by the judge after the jury found him guilty of the misdemeanor reckless driving charge.  Perez gained notoriety on the Internet when surveillance video from inside the bus was posted online. You can read the San Antonio Express News report of the story here.