News & Events

Texting While Driving Ban

If you haven’t heard the rumors yet, let us fill you in: texting while driving may soon be illegal in Texas if Rep. Tom Craddick, and six other Texas legislators, get their bills passed this year. However, the question remains: will a ban make Texas roadways safer? If city-based bans on texting while driving in places like Austin, Amarillo, Dallas, El Paso, and San Antonio, to name a few, are any indication then the answer is a resounding YES!

Currently, drivers under the age of eighteen are prohibited from using wireless communication devices in Texas and new drivers still in possession of a learner’s permit cannot use a cell phone for the first 6 months of driving. All drivers are prohibited from using wireless devices in active school zones, but what about the rest of the time? What about the rest of the drivers texting while driving?

Back in the day, it was only drunk drivers that you had to worry about. These days, it’s everybody with a cell phone! If you have ever been driving when somebody has swerved into your lane because they’re looking for the letter “Z” on their touch screen text message, you understand what a danger texting while driving poses to the safety and well-being of other drivers on the road. And if you’re one of the people texting while driving, well, STOP IT!

Cell phone use in cars is a big problem these days, with “distracted driving” ranking number 3 on the state’s list of traffic fatality causes in 2011. In 2012, over 2500 “distracted driving” fatalities were reported in Texas.

Does this mean that the passage of the texting while driving ban will eliminate the problem of “distracted driving” in Texas? Probably not, but it could reduce fatalities as it did in California where you cannot use any hand-held cellular device while driving. According to a UC Berkeley study on the effect of the cell phone ban that California passed in 2008, they found a 22% decline in overall traffic fatalities and a 47% drop in hand-held cellphone driver deaths during the 2 year periods before and after the ban was instituted.

39 other states including the District of Columbia have instituted texting while driving bans.

Texas Drivers Ed