distracted driving | Texas Public Radio

distracted driving

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As the city celebrates Fiesta, party-goers raise the risk of an alcohol-related crash. Meanwhile, residents and local law enforcement are keeping a more watchful eye on the road. 

Ryan Poppe / Texas Public Radio

Will a statewide ban on texting-while-driving replace ordinances already on the books in cities across Texas? 

Gov. Greg Abbott Signs Statewide Ban On Texting While Driving

Jun 7, 2017

Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday signed into law a bill that creates a statewide ban on texting while 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.

Outlook Good For Statewide Texting-While-Driving Ban, Key Lawmakers Say

Apr 4, 2017
Tim Park for The Texas Tribune

After pushing the issue for nearly a decade, key lawmakers in the Texas Legislature are optimistic that a statewide texting-while-driving ban is within reach.

Texas is one of four states that do not have a statewide ban on texting and driving. That distinction has drawn renewed attention in recent days following an accident in West Texas in which a truck driver who was texting and driving crashed into a church bus and killed 13 senior citizens.

The number of highway fatalities jumped by the largest annual percentage in 50 years last year. So far, the first six months of 2016 appear to be worse. Safety experts blame distracted driving for the increase.

Updated at 10:39 a.m. ET Friday with a response from the Consumer Electronics Association.

Your hands may be on the wheel and your eyes on the road, but where is your mind?

Sending a text or emailing while driving, even with hands-free technology, can be distracting. But new research suggests that those distractions continue even once you think you've turned your attention fully back to the road.

AUSTIN — A Georgetown man has been arrested after police say he had his 13-year-old daughter drive their family home from Austin because he thought he was intoxicated.

KVUE-TV reports the man was arrested Sunday and faces a charge of child endangerment. Austin police say an officer had pulled over a pickup truck that was moving at 25 mph in a 70 mph zone.

According to police, a 13-year-old girl was the driver and the girl’s father, a woman, and a 7-year-old were passengers. The arresting officer said he could smell alcohol from within the vehicle and that the father’s eyes were bloodshot.

Eileen Pace

The Texas Department of Transportation has kicked off its annual campaign to educate young drivers about the dangers of distracted driving.

TxDOT’s Laura Lopez said that one in five traffic crashes in Texas is caused by a distracted driver, and the numbers have been increasing. “In 2014 there were just a little over 100,000 crashes in Texas involving distracted driving, and that’s about six percent more than the previous year,” Lopez said.

AUSTIN — In an effort to ease traffic jams in Austin, police have started cracking down on drivers who block intersections.

The Austin American-Statesman reports that the crackdown started Monday. The effort includes increasing police presence at a handful of downtown intersections during peak travel hours in the morning and evening.