Drivers Should Support “Safe Texas” Agenda

Texas Watch Advocates for Safety Laws 

Texas Watch released its Safe Texas agenda for the 84th Legislative session. The non-partisan citizen advocacy organization lobbies for passage of important safety laws. In this upcoming session, Texas Watch plans to advocate for laws that:

  1. Prohibit junk “named driver” auto insurance policies;
  2. Ban texting while driving; 
  3. Adopt strong chemical safety reforms; 
  4. Strengthen nursing home enforcement and accountability; and
  5. Require ride-share drivers to be covered under commercial liability insurance policies

The Problem with Named Driver Auto Insurance Policies

Texas statute defines a “named driver policy” as an auto
insurance policy that “provides coverage only for drivers specifically
named on the policy and not for all individuals residing in a named
insured’s household, and that may or may not provide coverage for
drivers using a vehicle covered by the policy with permission and not
residing in the insured’s household. The term includes an automobile
insurance policy that has been endorsed to provide coverage only for
drivers specifically named on the policy.”

More than one million Texas drivers are currently covered under
named driver policies. However, these policies do not provide the level
of coverage needed to protect policyholders and other injured motorists.
Texas Watch advocates for statutes that prohibit sale of named driver

Dangers of Texting While Driving

We’ve covered the issue of texting while driving
quite often in this blog. As long as texting while driving remains
legal, otherwise responsible drivers will continue engaging in this
careless and dangerous action.

Distracted drivers were responsible for more than 500 deaths and
1800 severe injuries in Texas in 2013. Statewide texting while driving
bans and local ordinances, including in some Texas municipalities, have
successfully influenced driver behavior in these areas. Drivers are more likely to put the phone down when laws are implemented and enforced.
Not only does this make the road safer for everyone, but typically
reduces auto insurance costs. Texas Watch advocates for legislation that imposes a statewide ban on texting while driving.

Making Ride-Share Programs Share the Risks

Uber, Lyft and other ridesharing services
have become hugely popular. However, these drivers are often not
adequately insured. Texas laws require commercial transportation
services, such as a standard taxi driver, to carry higher minimum
liability than noncommercial motorists. The pseudo-cab companies have
skirted this responsibility, thus leaving the drivers, their passengers
and other motorists vulnerable in case of an accident. Texas Watch
advocates for laws that require rideshare drivers to carry meaningful
commercial liability insurance coverage.

Berenson Law Supports Texas Watch Auto Safety Advocacy

Berenson Law firm supports legislation that makes Texas roadways
safer and that provides injury victims with the compensation they need
to recover after an accident. I agree with the executive director of
Texas Watch that, “priority one for lawmakers should be to adopt common
sense steps to put the safety of Texas families and small business
owners first.”

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