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Texas Is (Still) 1 Of 4 States Without A Ban On Texting And Driving

Pexels (Public Domain)

Despite multiple failed attempts in past legislative sessions, Texas is one of four states with no law against texting and driving.

This time around, lawmakers are optimistic about passing a bill that would make it a criminal offense to use a wireless communication device while operating a motor vehicle in Texas.

Roughly three dozen Texas cities already have similar bans in place. San Antonio adopted a Hands Free Ordinance in 2010, which prohibits calling, texting and any other use of a hand-held mobile communication device.

Still, data shows more than 100,000 traffic crashes every year in Texas can be attributed to distracted driving, which is "any activity that could divert a person's attention away from the primary task of driving."  There were 24,686 distracted driving-related crashes in Bexar County in 2015 – more than any other Texas county that year, by far.

studyof 19 U.S. states found that on average, there was a seven percent reduction in crash-related hospitalizations in states which enacted texting-while-driving bans. 

Less than two weeks ago, 13 people died in a crash about 75 miles west of San Antonio when a truck crossed the center line on a curved road and hit their church bus head on. The truck's driver admitted afterward that he had been texting

Will Texas become the 47th state to enact a law that bans texting while driving? Will drivers really put their phones away? How can we further curb distracted driving and make Texas roads safer for everyone? 


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Kim Johnson is the producer for Texas Public Radio’s live, call-in show The Source. She is a Trinity University alum with bachelor’s degrees in Communication and Spanish, and a Master of Arts Degree from the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin.