Craddick Bill Would Ban Texting While Driving in Texas

Texas Rep. Tom Craddick (Midland) has filed House Bill 63, the Alex Brown Memorial Act, which would implement a statewide ban on texting while driving.

According to Craddick, House Bill 63 introduces a common sense safety measure to ban the use of a wireless communication device to read, write or send a text-based communication while driving, except when a vehicle is stopped.

This ban does not apply to dialing a number on a hand-held device, using GPS on a hand-held device, or using voice-operated technology or hands-free.

The bill is named in honor of Alex Brown, who lost her life to texting while driving. Jeanne and Johnny Mac Brown lost their daughter, Alex, in a single car accident as she drove to school during her senior year in high school. The family has since formed the Remembering Alex Brown (RAB) foundation to raise awareness about the dangers of texting while driving. Approximately 25 Texas cities have adopted an ordinance banning texting while driving.

While the state does not have a statewide ban, Texas already has several laws in place that regulate texting while driving.

There is a ban on statewide texting while driving law in place for drivers under 18; school bus drivers are not allowed to use cell phones when children are present; and drivers are prohibited by law from using a handheld device in school zones where signs are posted.

“The Texas Legislature has a responsibility to give our law enforcement officers the tools they need to make our roadways safer. It is time for Texas to join the other 39 states and the District of Columbia to ban this dangerous behavior for all drivers,” Craddick said. “It is my hope that lawmakers can pass this bi-partisan supported legislation during the upcoming legislative session in order to make our roads safer.”

Nov. 12 was the first day state lawmakers could pre-file legislation for the upcoming 83rd Legislative Session, which convenes Jan. 8, 2013.

Source: Texas House of Representatives