Dallas, Texas, United States, 06/29/2015 /SubmitPressRelease123/
Dallas/Fort Worth personal injury lawyers assess the Texas Legislature’s recent decision to not approve a measure making it illegal to text and drive in the state.
Some are questioning the recent decision of the Texas Legislature to allow a measure that would outlaw texting while driving in the state to die in the session’s final days. The bill was previously stuck in limbo in May as supporters made an effort to garner the support needed for it to be brought to a floor vote.
Source: The Dallas Morning News Report “Texting-while-driving ban on hold in Texas Senate”
“In the Senate, a bill needs 19 votes to bring it up for debate. Lawmakers pushing for the legislation and their staff say the texting-while-driving ban is currently just one vote short. For passage on the floor, the ban would need a simple majority, or 16 votes.”
However, as the deadline loomed, the measure was unsuccessful at gaining passage despite receiving bipartisan support.
Source: Star-Telegram Report “Legislature keeps text and driving, high-speed rail intact, increases transportation funding”
“Texas’ elected leaders opted not to ban texting while driving in the recently concluded legislative session, making the Lone Star State one of the few places in the nation where it’s still legal to fiddle with an electronic device behind the wheel.
To read more visit http://www.star-telegram.com/news/local/article23387025.html.
Transportation safety advocates have long pushed for Texas lawmakers to pass legislation that would outlaw the dangerous act of texting while driving. Statistics illustrating the widespread problem have been used to help support their cause, but to no avail. According one survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 31 percent of drivers in the U.S. ages 18-64 admitted to having sent or read text or email messages while driving within the 30 days prior to being surveyed.
In 2011, a bill that did receive approval from Texas lawmakers was vetoed by then governor of the state Rick Perry. Although acknowledging texting while driving as a problematic reckless behavior media reports at the time quoted him as stating the legislative ban was excessive. Many disagree with such an assertion and suggest there is a widespread need for the implementation of punishment for drivers who text while behind the wheel. Dallas/Fort Worth based personal injury lawyer Amy Witherite stated of the issue of any type of cell phone use while driving in a report earlier this year, “the problem has grown dramatically as more people have become attached to their mobile devices and don’t seem to even notice when they are checking them while driving out of habit.”
The recent bill was blocked by Sen. Konni Burton, R-Colleyville from coming to a final vote. Burton expressed concerns that authorities may be able to use the law to engage in searches and seizures that were not reasonable. Supporters of the measure were reportedly willing to make modifications that would protect motorists in the event they were pulled over for texting; however, Burton still continued her opposition.
Organizations like StopDistractions.org consider texting to be the most dangerous driving distraction. Many are awaiting to see if and when a new measure that would outlaw texting while driving will be introduced and gain possible passage in the state. So far text messaging is banned for all drivers in 46 other states in the U.S.
Eberstein Witherite LLP
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