The Fourth of July is right around the corner…and Rick Perry lights the first fuse…

If things had gone as planned, the Texas state law banning texting while driving would have gone into effect this September 1.Although it is a city ordinance in several Texas cities such as San Antonio, El Paso and Austin (our lovely capital and home of Rick Perry…a.k.a. Mr. Vetoe).On June 17, Governor Rick Perry vetoed the legislature’s plan to ban text messaging for all drivers. This would have been a Texas state law.

The ban on texting while driving has been a city ordinance in Austin since June of 2009.I’m not likely the only person who thought that, if our capital city was on-board with it, that was a pretty good indication that this would become a state law in a short matter of time. We were wrong!Apparently slick Rick cited that House Bill 242 was a “government effort to micromanage the behavior of adults.”Texas already bans texting by teens. The bill would have extended that ban to all drivers. Perry says that he does recommend additional education on this issue in driving safety and driver’s education courses and public service ads.

The amended bill would have prohibited a driver from reading, writing or sending a text-based communication while operating a motor vehicle, unless the vehicle is stopped.Opponents said drivers would be penalized for simply receiving a text message while behind the wheel.  Do this…next time you stop at a red light, look over at all of the cars in the other lanes.  You’ll notice that nearly everyone is looking down…finishing a text at the red light.  Darned multi-taskers!

Currently, it is a state law prohibiting use of a handheld electronic device or texting in an active school zone. There are exceptions for emergency situations, though.Like, if you hit a kid jay-walking in a school zone.You’ll need to use your cell phone to call 911 to let them know that “the car behind you just hit a kid in a school zone”. (Please, don’t take me seriously on this one…)

I, for one, don’t text and drive.Not because I’m smart enough not to.I’m just not coordinated enough.I’ve tried it.And I could totally take out families.My 15 year old daughter can text and not even look at her phone while she’s texting.She can sit at the kitchen table, look me right in the eyes while we’re having a converstion…the whole time she’s texting under the table.She calls it multi-tasking…I call it grounded…I think it’s just rude.

It is a Federal law that Commercial Drivers(truck drivers) cannot text while driving.And, if they get caught, the fine is just under $2k.Plus no one will ever hire them again. Fair enough, a semi truck is a huge piece of machinery…you could totally take out families with.  What ever happened to good old CB Radios?  And Smokey and the Bandit??  And Jim Stafford and Jerry Reed songs?  You know, people used to park while playing those 8-Tracks.

By the way…T-Mobile is probably throwing a party somewhere…if anyone wants to go…

Until next time…

Daun Thompson

(Daun is a writer, comedienne and artist residing in Dallas, Texas)