Texas will not enact proposed legislation this year that would have made texting while driving a criminal offense. The legislation, which had been proposed in several similar versions, would have made texting, emailing or instant messaging on a mobile phone while driving a car, truck or semi-truck a misdemeanor with a $100 fine for first-time offenders and a $200 fine for second-time offenders.
“Unfortunately, the bill proposing the statewide ban on texting will not become law this year,” Craddick said. “The chairman of the Senate Committee on Transportation denied lawmakers the opportunity to move House Bill 63 forward and subsequently denied Texans a chance to make our roads safer. I am incredibly disappointed by this result.”
“It is very disappointing, not just for me but for the state,” Craddick said. “A lot of groups across the state and even AT&T and other phone companies had all endorsed it, and so did cities. They all felt that a statewide ban was necessary.”
Craddick previously had said that 10 other states have already passed similar bills and cited a 2009 CBS News/New York Times survey that found 97 percent of those polled opposed texting while driving.
“Next legislative session, I will again attempt to put a statewide law in place to deter Texas drivers from texting while driving,” Craddick said. “It is devastating that we will have two more years of accidents and deaths on our Texas roadways from distracted driving that could have been prevented.”
A recent study by New York’s Cohen Children’s Medical Center concluded that texting while driving has surpassed drunken driving as the leading cause of death among teens.
Text-messaging drivers cause thousands of car, truck or semi-truck accidents every year. Such drivers can be held legally responsible for the injuries that they cause, and may be subject to punitive damages if it can be shown that they were grossly negligent. If the driver kills someone in a texting while driving car, truck or semi-truck accident, they may be sued for wrongful death.
If you have been involved in a Texas car, truck or semi-truck accident and believe cell phone use or texting may have been a factor, it is critical to contact Texas personal injury attorney to investigate the accident and preserve your legal rights.
About the author: While my office is located in Fort Worth, I am admitted to practice in every state and federal court in Texas, and I am able to handle car accident, truck accident, semi-truck accident, wrongful death and other personal injury cases in Dallas, Fort Worth, Burleson, Denton, Arlington, Grand Prairie, Houston, Waco, Austin, San Antonio, and across Texas. For a free evaluation of your legal matter, call me at 817.908.9861 or fill out the contact form.