- Texas Legislative Issues & News: Texting and Driving Ban Passes State House
- April 26, 2017 | Author: Jake Posey
- Law Firm: The Posey Law Firm, P.C. - Austin Office
- Texting and driving is banned in all but four US states. However, this number might soon be reduced to three, as legislation is making its way through state Texas government proposing a ban to driving while texting. The Texas Tribune reported earlier that a texting and driving ban passed in the Texas House of Representatives. Previously, the ban passed in a senate committee.
State Representative Tom Craddick (R-Middleton) proposed the bill of this Texas legislative issue, one he's been trying to pass in the state legislature for a number of years. Prior to the current session, he most recently attempted to introduce the bill last fall with State Senator Judith Zaffirini (D-Lardeo), but the issue never made it to the senate floor. In two previous attempts, bills passed in the house and senate but were vetoed by former Governor Rick Perry.
The bill had strong bipartisan support in the Texas House of Representatives, where it passed 113-32. If it passes and becomes law, the bill will charge texting and driving violators fines of $25 to $75 and come with a misdemeanor charge. Fines grow with multiple violations. An amendment added by State Representative Eric Johnson (D-Dallas) stipulates that people can't be arrested by the police for a texting and driving violation.
Although Texas is one of the few states without a texting and driving ban, bans exist in over three dozen cities statewide. State legislators believe a state ban will strengthen the local ordinances. The current bill also allows cities to continue to have stricter laws and penalties than the proposed state law.
To stay up to date on the state texting and driving vote, and other transportation related state legislative issues, contact us.