A 12 year study done in Houston proved that camera lights in intersections actually changed the composition of accidents, they did not reduce them. So, like many other states, Texas deactivated their camera lights last year. But I have noticed that they did not remove all of them. Perhaps they can be put to good use by turning camera lights around to catch texters. And, if so, will the fine be a civil offense, as were those camera light tickets?

NO TEXTING WHILE DRIVING STATE LAW

Although Texas does not have a hands-free state law regarding cell phone use as do most other states, they do have a no texting while driving state law. And there are many hands-free city ordinances within the lone star state. Not every city, although, and certainly not in my city of Dallas with a population of over 1.35 million! And, since I teach defensive driving, one would think that I would see those texting moving violations in my classes. But I only see those for texting in a school zone when the light is activated. So, apparently, they’re not actually enforcing our state law. I hear that they are enforcing the city ordinances, although, and they come with high fines.

OTHER USES FOR THOSE CAMERAS

There are many other uses for those cameras and ways to re-purpose them. They can be used to compile data in intersections where there are more accidents. And they can be used to monitor crime by having more cameras present for better angles. I read that Australia, after a successful trial, has added mobile detection cameras that use artificial intelligence to determine if a driver has something in their hand. This footage is reviewed (as were our camera light ones) by a human who determines if a fine should be issued. These photos may also expose other things, such as the presence of guns, drugs, etc.

In closing, there is no doubt that in my state drinking and driving has affected everyone at some level. Everyone knows someone who has had a family member who has been killed by a drunk driver. But, if we don’t get a grip on it, this will be true with a texting driver.

Until next week…
Daun Thompson
Writer / Comedienne / Artist

TURNING CAMERA LIGHTS AROUND TO CATCH TEXTERS – Comedy Defensive Driving