Many Texas families support the enactment of a statewide texting ban
A proposed texting ban in Texas would fine drivers up to $200 if they are caught texting while their vehicle is in motion.
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, one in five car accidents involves driver distraction. To prevent the number of crash injuries that are incurred in accidents caused by distracted drivers, many families in Texas are now lobbying for the enactment of a statewide texting ban, states KXAN. Currently in the state, no complete ban on texting and driving exists, but there are other restrictions on cellphone use. For example, the TDOT states that drivers under the age of 18 are not allowed to use wireless communication devices.
The particular texting ban Texas families are supporting is called the Alex Brown Memorial Act. It received its name from a girl who died texting and driving in 2009. If this bill is passed, drivers caught texting and driving would be fined $100 and repeat offenders would be fined up to $200.
Why this bill may actually pass
This is not the first time a texting bill of this nature has been introduced to the Texas legislature. According to kxan, prior Governor Rick Perry vetoed a bill that would implement a statewide texting ban in 2011. While campaigning, Governor Greg Abbott initially said that he does not support a texting ban, but many lawmakers are calling for the governor not to veto this legislation. Although the governor is highly supportive of driver safety, he wants to find a way to do it that does not involve too much government intrusion.
Texting bans don’t always reduce crashes
While the enactment of a statewide texting ban in Texas may reduce the number of drivers who use their cellphones behind the wheel, research shows that these bans are not always effective. According to a study conducted by the Highway Loss Data Institute, these bans are even associated with an increase in motor vehicle accidents.
To come to this conclusion, researchers calculated the number of collision claims filed for vehicles up to nine-years-old before and after a texting ban was passed in four separate states. These states included Washington, Louisiana, California and Minnesota. In three of the four states, crashes increased after the enactment of a texting ban. There are several suspected reasons why these bans may not reduce motor vehicle accidents, which include the following:
- These bans only focus on banning one single type of dangerous driver distraction.
- These bans rely on prohibiting one type of distraction and hoping it will solve the entire distracted driving problem.
- These bans ignore the many other types of distracted driving.
Drivers in Texas who sustain injuries in a distracted driving-related collision may be unable to live a normal daily life for an extended period of time. If you were harmed in a car accident, speak with an attorney in your area to find out what compensation may be available to you.
Keywords: texting, distracted, driving, accident