When I was a kid, the biggest distraction in our car was the radio (and us kids). My mom (a.k.a. Old Yeller) would drive with one hand, while the other arm was just swinging-away at us in the back seat. Her swinging arm was like Popeye’s, and her driving arm was atrophied (like a bone with skin on it). It’s true…we were terrible kids, so she’d leave us in the hot car for hours while she went into the grocery store. Currently, a parent goes to jail for leaving a kid in a hot car (I like to think it’s because kids are much more important now than they were when I was a kid). We didn’t have cell phones, GPS or DVD’s in the car then. These seem to be the biggest distractions now. So why is there no texting ban in Texas? There is no doubt whatsoever that texting while driving is very dangerous. But Texas still remains one of the only four states void of a texting ban (Texas, Montana, Arizona and Missouri).
Texas lawmakers are planning once again to introduce a bill banning texting and driving statewide. But will it become a law? Every two years, the Texas Legislature returns in January to re-visit this issue. So, if a bill does pass, we may have a law that will go into effect in September. But, apparently, there is already some republican opposition. They argue that a law would infringe on the individual freedoms of adult drivers. So, what about the freedoms of innocent drivers that are injured and killed by those distracted adult drivers? They also argue that a statewide law would not make a difference regarding the safety of drivers, which is in direct contradiction to data provided by the TXDOT, which reported more than 100,000 car accidents caused by distracted drivers in 2015 alone. That’s a staggering number. Yet, folks are skeptical that it will pass during the upcoming 85th legislative session.
So this Texan will follow closely to keep you informed. In the meantime, if you are a Texan, perhaps it is comforting to know that we do have over 90 cities that currently ban texting while driving. Also, drivers under the age of 18, commercial vehicle drivers (including bus drivers) and all drivers in activated school zones are banned from texting.
Statistics show that one out of 4 car accidents are a result of texting while driving. And, texting while driving is six times more likely to crash than drunk drivers. So if you’re drinking “and” texting … yikes!
Until next week…
Writer / Comedienne / Artist
States Void of a Texting Ban – Comedy Defensive Driving School