“Whoopee ti yi yo, get along little texting ban…It’s your misfortune ain’t none of your own…Whoopee ti yi yo, get along little texting ban…You know that TEXAS will be your new home.”
Finally!! There will be a texting law in Texas. It’s been a long time coming and thank goodness we are finally evolving. Now there are only three states to go (Montana, Arizona and Missouri). Texas’ law will go into effect on September 1st, so we’ll still have to be on guard for the next 2-1/2 months, and then those of us mothers who fret about our children driving among distracted drivers can finally kick back and quit the anxiety meds. I have an only child (because…ouch! I haven’t even “dated” since). And I’m too old to make another so I do really worry about her. Currently, Texas has state laws prohibiting the use of cell phones and electronic devices in active school zones (hands-free). Bus drivers and drivers under the age of 18 also have hands-free restrictions. There are also some cities in Texas with city ordinances restricting texting, while talking on the phone when driving is still okay. For 2-1/2 years now Austin and San Antonio have been enforcing hands-free city ordinances. Denton County became hands-free in January.

So, at the risk of sounding ungrateful (because, believe me, I am genuinely thrilled about our new state law), those cities and counties that are already hands-free will actually “regress” to only texting bans (and now talking on a cell phone will be legal again in those areas). But, again, it’s better than nothing at all. I am not certain what this new law will mean. No texting while driving could mean that you can still talk on the phone but, in order to text, read, scroll or update your GPS, you actually have to be off of the roadway, with your car in “park.” This is actually how our current city ordinances are set up (those which are not entirely hands-free). Or, this no texting ban could simply mean that a driver cannot text while the car is moving (which some people will still do, illegally), but a driver may be able to text while the car is not in motion (like at a red light). If the new law is the second scenario here, even law-abiding citizens will be texting, reading and updating their GPS while waiting at a red light. Because, if you can legally do it, why wouldn’t you? Drivers are impatient as it is. Especially when a red light turns green, it’s like their horn is coordinated with the light. They don’t even give you a chance to take your foot off of the brake and hit the gas before they honk at you “What are you waiting for…another shade of green?” Hopefully, the new state law will enlist the first scenario.

Either way, thank goodness for evolution!
Until next week…

Daun Thompson
Writer / Comedienne / Artist

Texting Law in Texas – Comedy Defensive Driving