News Room

August 18, 2017

How Texas is Making Texting and Driving Illegal

If you've ever witnessed firsthand reckless driving caused by texting, you will be especially happy with this new law! On June 6, 2017, Governor Greg Abbott signed House Bill 62, making texting and driving in the state of Texas illegal once and for all. This ban is scheduled to take effect statewide beginning September 1, 2017, but what does this mean for all Texas cities?

No Texting and Driving Fines

Texas was one of the few states that had yet to jump on the bandwagon of setting a statewide ban on texting while driving; however, before this bill was mandated, many cities adopted their own ordinances to take initiative on banning this deadly practice from occurring in the area. Nonetheless, under this new law, all drivers caught texting and driving anywhere in the state of Texas may be punishable by a fine ranging from $25 - $200 depending on the city and offense. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, this statewide ban is expected to work better than those pushed by local governments because city bans are more difficult to enforce and can be confusing for law enforcement and travelers crossing city lines.

History of House Bill 62

This isn't the first shot that state representative Tom Craddick has taken to pass a texting-while-driving ban. Back in 2011, the bill successfully got through both House and Senate, but got vetoed by former Governor Rick Perry after claiming that this bill was an "overreach" and he didn't want this to turn into a government effort to "micromanage the behavior of adults." Even so, Craddick tried once again in 2013 and 2015, but the bill didn't make it pass the Senate office. After the fourth pursuit, it finally got through to where Governor Greg Abbott has approved and signed off on it.

How Dangerous is Texting and Driving?

The truth of the matter is that texting while driving increases your chances of getting into a collision. We've all seen the Don't Text and Drive campaigns, yet it's still not enough to stop the distraction fueled by texting and driving. According to the National Safety Council, texting while driving causes approximately 1.6 million accidents per year and at least 1 out of every 4 car accidents in the United States are caused by this phenomenon. The risks of cell phone usage can be quite startling and yet when asked about the effects of texting and driving in an AAA poll, 94% of teen drivers acknowledged these dangers and 35% admitted to doing it anyway.

A-MAX Auto Insurance wants to remind you to always be prepared and alert on the road. If you choose to multitask – make sure it's not on the road!


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