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Governor Perry Vetoes Texting While Driving Bill

A good Houston car accident lawyer knows how dangerous texting while driving is; but apparently Texas legislators do not agree. On Friday, June 17th, Texas state Governor Perry vetoed legislation that would implement a ban on texting on a mobile phone while operating a motor vehicle.

Last month, lawmakers approved a bill that would ban texting while driving, making it illegal. But Perry reversed this bill with a veto, calling it an “overreach” and a  “government effort to micromanage the behavior of adults.” Tom Craddick, the former House Speaker has been an advocate of the texting while driving ban, referring to it as a public safety measure. 30 states nationwide have texting while driving bans in place. San Antonio and El Paso already have texting while driving bans in place, and are leading the way for other Texas cities to follow suit.

The texting while driving issue is a touchy subject: some people advocate it as being just as important as drinking and driving bans, while others, such as Governor Perry do not think it is appropriate to limit the behavior of responsible adults. The issue inhabits a gray area, because studies have been shown to demonstrate that texting while driving is equal to the distraction that a blood alcohol level of .08 causes drivers.

In his veto statement Perry said, “The keys to dissuading drivers of all ages from texting while driving are information and education. I recommend additional education on this issue in the driving safety and driver’s education courses, public service ads and announcements, and I encourage individuals and organizations that testified in favor the anti-texting language included in this bill to work with state and local leaders to educate the public of these dangers.”

Perry has a point, but information and education are not always enough; sometimes people need the threat of financial repercussions to actually integrate safe practices into their behavior. A similar argument to Perry’s could have been made about drinking and driving—that it was micromanaging adult behavior, and that people should be free to make their own choices and decisions. This may be true, but people do not always act responsibly, nor do they always make sound decisions. America was founded on principles of freedom, but the freedoms that our citizens enjoy should not infringe upon the safety of others.

While Perry vetoed the ban on texting bill this time, it is likely that such legislation will eventually be passed and put into place. There is a public demand for it, and 30 other states and several other Texas cities have already ratified anti-texting legislation. Most Americans would be willing to give up the perception of having the freedom to text while driving to ensure the overall safety of everyone on the road.

If you, a family member, friend or colleague has been injured in a distracted driving accident, call Houston car accident attorney Joe Stephens today at 713.224.0000 for a free consultation. Joe Stephens has been practicing law in South Texas for over over 30 years, and is a qualified and experienced Houston car accident lawyer who will handle every aspect of your case, on both a professional and personal level. You may also fill out a contact form online and a member of The Stephens Law Firm staff will contact you within 24 hours to set up your free consultation. Call Joe Stephens today to get the help and advice that you need.

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