The Texas Legislature on May 19th, passed a measure banning texting while driving statewide.
HB 62 by Midland Rep. Tom Craddick previously was approved by the House. While more than 100 cities in the state have texting and driving bans Texas is one of the few that does not currently have a statewide law making that practice illegal.
Continue reading to find out what this means for drivers in Texas.
The bill’s Senate sponsor, Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, has been pushing for a texting while driving ban for 10 years.
Under HB 62 drivers who are caught using a phone to text, send email or post to social media while driving would face a fine of up to $99 for a first offense and $200 for subsequent offenses.
The bill only penalizes texting while driving a moving car; drivers in an idle or parked car could still use their phones to send texts. The ban would not apply to using one’s phone as a GPS or music device.
Some lawmakers worry the ban would be difficult and too confusing to enforce and would give police new powers to pull over people who might be doing something legal if they mistake the presence of a phone or mobile device for texting. Sen. Larry Taylor, R-Friendswood, noted that other potentially dangerous distractions would not be banned.
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Source: "Texas Senate Passes Texting While Driving Ban." Insurance Journal., 22 May 2017. Web. 31 May 2017.www.insurancejournal.com