UPDATE: Unfortunately, the bill was ultimately defeated in the Senate before becoming law. In response, many Texas cities have enacted their own texting and driving laws.
To quote My Fox DFW’s report: A watered-down ban on texting while driving has passed the Texas House.
The bill would allow the reading of text messages and emails while behind the wheel – but would outlaw the act of typing them. How this will be enforced was not discussed in Fox’s report. Cell phone reports are already used by some car accident lawyers during cases to determine which party was at fault. It will be interesting to see how law enforcement agencies put the ban to use.
Texting while driving has received more than it’s share of attention in recent years. This is due, in part, to the advent of touch phones. Whereas older phone models had physical buttons, touch phones do not – they have one flat screen. With physical buttons, a person’s tactile sense can be trained to remember where individual keys are. Entire text messages can be written with one hand without ever looking at the phone. However, with a flat screen surface (like modern smart phones), a texter must keep his or her eyes on the screen to make sure the right button is pressed.
The more time people spend looking at their phones, the less time they spend looking at the road.
Overall, this bill can be a positive thing for Texas drivers. Now, we must wait and see what the state Senate has to say.
Drive safely, Dallas!