New state law bans texting and driving

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A new state law that makes texting and driving illegal went into effect last Friday.  

Drivers may not use a phone to read, write, or respond to an electronic message while driving unless the vehicle is stopped.

Violators face a misdemeanor charge and a fine of between $25 to $99, however repeat offenders could pay as much as $200.

Some people on campus think this law will be the foundation in paving the road for a safer driving experience.

“It needs to happen just because we’ve run across so many accidents that occur due to the fact that people are texting, but you have to take into account it’s also against the law to speed and everybody does that still, also,” SRO Glenn Hubbard said. “So a lot of people will stop just because they know it’s the right thing to do and even a small number of people stopping will help that out with the traffic accident.”

Even though people are aware of the potential dangers of texting and driving some still admit to doing it.     

“Personally I’m probably a little bit guilty of that at stop lights or red lights I might take out my phone sometimes to just check my messages,” senior Victoria Gong said. “I  think this ban will hopefully inspire students to not look at their phone so much on the road. There’s probably still going to people who try to be sneaky about it, but for the most part hopefully people stop texting and driving. I feel like not everyone is fully aware of the consequences that could happen when you text and drive. I have definitely seen people drive really slow on the road when they’re texting and driving because they’re not fully paying attention and that can get annoying to other drivers who have you know  to get somewhere on time. I’ve also seen people switch into lanes and almost you know hit the person next to them because they didn’t check their blind spot because they’re on their phone.” 

Along with the ban on texting and driving, drivers getting their Texas license after today, will be required to take a new course.

Anyone between the ages of 18 and 24 that needs a new Texas driver’s license, will now have to take the “impact Texas young drivers course” to obtain a license.

This course was already required for applicants between the ages of 15 and 17.  

In addition, drivers 18 to 24 must complete the 6-hour adult driver education course prior to the skills examination.

“I think distracted driving is relevant no matter what age you are. Even more so for people who have more experience driving,” Gong said. “They may forget all these rules and may forget the severity of their consequences.”

Those with existing driver’s licenses won’t have to take the course, but anyone that moves to Texas and applies for a license will have to meet certain course requirements, depending on age.