Texting While Driving: Texas Must Veto This Dangerous Practice

Distracted drivers have no business on Texas roadways. They are a major nuisance and danger. State regulations are necessary.

Several Texas cities including San Antonio have passed local laws banning texting while driving, and an effort is under way to make it illegal across the state.

The move to ban texting and driving in Texas is not a new campaign.In 2011, the Texas Legislature approved a measure banning texting and driving. The legislation had bipartisan support but was vetoed by Gov.

Rick Perry because he viewed the ban as “an effort to micromanage the behavior of adults.”

That’s a difficult sell to the parents and family members of those motorists and passengers who have been injured or killed on Texas roadways by drivers keeping their eyes on a mobile device instead of the road.

In 2009, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recorded 5,474 deaths in crashes due to distracted drivers. Those numbers reflect the latest statistics available, but it is hard to believe that the numbers have not grown substantially since then.

Texting is the communication form of choice for many people. The NHTSA found more than 196 billion text messages were sent in June 2011 alone.

Former Texas House Speaker Tom Craddick, R-Midland, earlier this month filed legislation to ban texting and driving in the Lone Star State. His measure deserves the support of his colleagues and the governor.

Text messaging by drivers is prohibited in 39 states, and five states prohibit texting by novice drivers. Three states restrict school bus drivers from text messaging. It’s time for Texas to join the ranks.

— San Antonio Express News

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