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House Bill 62 would ban texting and driving

State lawmakers in Austin are debating a bill that would ban texting while driving.

Sydney Gish

State lawmakers in Austin are debating a bill that would ban texting while driving.

Megan Lin, Editor-in-chief

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Texas may join 45 other states in enacting a ban on texting while driving if a bill proposed by Rep. Tom Craddick, R-Midland becomes law. The House voted 114-32 on Thursday to pass the legislation which now moves to the Texas Senate.

“We hope that 2017 finally will be the session that the Texas Legislature outlaws one form of distracted driving that has injured and killed too many Texans in the years since such legislation was first introduced,” Texas Coalition for Affordable Insurance Solutions executive director Beaman Floyd said in a Dallas Morning News article.

This is the fourth time Craddick has tried to pass legislation that would enact a statewide ban on texting while driving. The state does have bans regarding texting in school zones, underage drivers, and drivers transporting minors but some legislators believe the bill does not fully address the issue.

“How in God’s name would an officer know you are texting?” Harold Dutton Jr., D-Houston said in a Dallas Morning News article. “I think this bill falls short of where this Legislature can get to in terms of texting while driving.”

A bill was almost passed in 2011 but former Gov. Rick Perry called the legislation “a government effort to micromanage the behavior of adults.”

Co-author of House Bill 62 Rep. Eddie Lucio III, D-Brownsville, compared texting and driving to something else.

“I’m disheartened to say that we’re still at it,” Rep. Eddie Lucio III, D-Brownsville, a co-author of the House bill said in a Dallas Morning News article. “This is what drinking and driving used to be to previous generations.”

Here on campus, some student drivers like senior Caroline Chandler said Craddick’s bill makes sense.

“A bill banning texting and driving would be a good thing for teenagers especially because it would make the roads much safer,” Chandler said. “As most people already know, texting and driving can have devastating and long lasting effects. It’s not worth putting yourself as well as other drivers at risk.”

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House Bill 62 would ban texting and driving