Thirteen states prohibit drivers from using cell phones. And 37 states (including Texas) have an outright ban on phone use by inexperienced and teen drivers. But Texas is not among the 44 states that ban text messaging while driving. Several major Texas cities (not including Dallas or Fort Worth) have enacted ordinances (city) banning texting while driving. But there are still no state cell phone laws in Texas. Austin and San Antonio, as of January 1, have prohibited any cell phone use while driving.
It is reported that there were more than 95,000 distraction-related traffic crashes in Texas in 2013 that resulted in more than 18,000 serious injuries and more than 500 deaths, according to state transportation figures. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that more than 9 people are killed in the U.S. every day in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver. So, why is there no state law?
This biannual session, there is widespread support from powerful lobbyist groups. And this session will have dozens of people there, who have been directly impacted by the dangers of distracted driving, asking legislators to make it a law.
Texas’ state laws already make it illegal for anyone under 18 and in school zones to use cell phones. A study was done last year that proved an average of 19 lives could be saved each year by banning texting while driving, alone.
And the fiscally responsible measure that will save the state and its people lots of money from lost wages, property damage and lawsuits is yet another valid reason to make this irresponsible act illegal.
Until next week…
Daun Thompson
Writer / Comedienne / Artist
Cell Phone Laws – Comedy Defensive Driving