Friday, April 8, 2011

Texas House Passes Texting While Driving Ban

If you just can't wait until you have finished driving home from work to send a text message to your girlfriend about dinner plans for that night, Texas legislators want to make sure that you face a consequence for making such a poor decision. With the commonly understand conclusion that texting while driving is more dangerous than getting behind the wheel after drinking, the Texas House approved a bill yesterday that would make the act illegal throughout the state. If also passed in the State Senate, Texas would join thirty other states that have already banned the practice.

The bill, HB 243, would still allow drivers to read messages while operating their moving vehicle and the sending of texts would be permissible as long as the car is stopped at traffic lights or stop signs. Those drivers found in violation of the law when it goes into effect on September 1 would face a misdemeanor charge and a fine of up to $200.

The bill passed in the House with a overwhelming vote of 124-16, with most lawmakers arguing that texting is a lethal threat on our state's roads and there must be some effort to curb the reckless behavior. The small group that opposed the bill stated that they did not like the idea of government banning certain driver distractions while other dangerous practices, such as eating food behind the wheel, still occur every day. Also, they argued that the law will be difficult to enforce.

What do you think of a statewide texting while driving ban? Is this a needed step? Will officers be able to enforce the law?

At Bertolino LLP, our criminal defense lawyers keep up with all of the latest news coming out of Austin so that we are best able to represent you and protect your rights. From a misdemeanor to the most serious of felonies, we can help. Please contact our Austin, Houston, or San Antonio office today.

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