State Lawmakers to Consider Texting While Driving Ban 1/6/13
CBS 7 News
January 6, 2013
Looking at a short text on your phone while you’re driving can be more dangerous than you think.
Almost two years ago, Kelsey Foster a junior in Permian High School was nearly paralyzed in a crash that would have been prevented if she were not texting and driving.
“I looked down for a second that was all it took,” she said, “To look down at my phone and not pay attention.”
Her mangled car parked in front of Permian High School is evidence of the reality, but now state lawmakers want to take the awareness a step further and ban texting while driving all together.
“It’ll be uniform across the state and its easier to enforce,” said Representative Tom Craddick who is behind House Bill 63. Its the same bill that legislators passed two years ago but was vetoed by Governor Rick Perry who said it was an effort to micro-manage adults.
Locally, similar bans were considered but an ordinance was never passed.
After a proposed ordinance never reach a second in 2011, Odessa Council Member Barbara Graff responded by saying the law wouldn't make a noticeable difference.
“You cannot adequately support this ordinance ,” she said in 2011, “Can you see what people are dong in their car?”
West Texans however have mixed feelings about a ban.
“Too many accidents occur while driving and texting. Pull over if it’s that urgent,”
Renea Tutt said.
“Unless they include eating, drinking, applying make-up and anything else that is not texting while driving,” said
As a firefighter i see first hand on what happens when u text and drive ,” said Rick Nuttall, “So yes to the bill might save lives.”
Representative Craddick says he is more confident the bill will pass after 39 states adopted a ban along with 25 cities in Texas.
“If you get the bill passed and you know that it's wrong the law going to help save lives and stop accidents,” he said.
Even Kelsey showed support in the past for a city ordinance. She is now in college and after a year at the Permian Basin Rehabilitation Cent, she can now run.
She says not everyone is as lucky as her when they are involved in a texting while driving crash, which is why she is supporting the bill.
“You put a law into act people are going to see it publicized and be punished for their actions,” she said.
There will be five other bills concerning texting while driving when our legislature meets next week.
What they propose is similar to representative Craddick'’s Bill. Drivers could still text at a stop sign and use GPS.
If passed, driver's could be fined more than $400 if caught.