Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Texas Teenagers are the Focus in Several Pieces of Proposed Legislation

Have you ever peeked in on your children sleeping peacefully in their rooms late at night, smiled at their beautiful faces, but then felt a wave of concern come over you as you silently thought, "I don't think the state of Texas is doing enough to protect our teenagers. I hope that this year's session of the state legislature addressing some new steps that can be taken." As the Dallas Morning News reported over the weekend, some elected officials in Austin must have heard your internal pleas because there are several bills currently working their way through the House or the Senate that directly address the safety of our young people.

Here are a few examples:

1. Elected officials are definitely concerned about teenagers and cell phone habits in which they engage while behind the wheel of a car. Proposed legislation includes the banning of phone use, both for talking and texting, by any driver under the age of eighteen, a driving curfew after 10:00pm for anyone who has been licensed for less than a year, and stronger driver education courses. Countless studies show that young drivers are the most likely to engage in behaviors that lead to tragic automobile accidents. So, perhaps putting a stop to the texting about an upcoming party while barreling down an interstate at 2:00am is an advisable change.

2. A bill that has already passed in the Senate would raise the age required to purchase cigarettes from eighteen to nineteen. I guess that one year of being an official adult will allow to make wiser decisions concerning inhaling nicotine-laden smoke into their lungs.

3. Are you a young rodeo phenom who amazes the crowd with your bull riding or your lassoing skills? Be prepared to hear the applause from behind a helmet. The Texas Senate has passed legislation that would require a protective helmet for minors who participate in most rodeo activities.

Are these issues that should be addressed by the members of the state government? Or, are they concerns that are best left to a child's parents or guardians? Please leave your comments on this blog and let me know what you think.

The attorneys at Bertolino LLP are always following the activities in Austin so that we are best prepared to assist our clients. If you find yourself in violation of any of the new laws that are enacted in our state, please contact our Austin, Houston, or San Antonio office today. We will provide the aggressive legal representation that you deserve.

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