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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Texas Bill for Texting While Driving Ban Vetoed

Texas Governor Rick Perry has decided to veto House Bill 242, or more importantly, the addendum regarding the ban on texting while driving for all drivers in Texas. The original bill, authored by Tom Craddick, would have allowed retired law officers to carry firearms.

Perry says: "I support measures that make our roads safer for everyone, but House Bill 242 is a government effort to micromanage the behavior of adults."

While that shows confidence in the ability of adult drivers to make the right choices all the time, what this means is that drivers who are older than 18 may be able to use their cell phones while driving, as long as they do not commit any other road violation.

Currently in Texas, texting behind the wheel is already prohibited for teen drivers. Ideally, as these teen drivers grow older, they carry over the lesson of lessening driving distractions. Hopefully, drivers don’t see this as a free-pass for being distracted at the wheel.

While this is a huge letdown for driving safety advocates everywhere, it can only mean that they have to find other methods for making the message stick, without having to resort to the law. Information campaigns in real life and all over the internet are finding increasingly-clever ways to deliver the message, and hopefully it sticks.

What to do now? Educate yourself. Arm yourself with proper knowledge regarding texting while driving, or being distracted behind the wheel in general. You can tell your children, your family, your friends, your co-workers and your community. Find advocacies or groups in your area. If there is none --- why not start one?

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