On June 6th, Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill banning texting and driving across the state. With the new law, which goes into effect Sept. 1, Texas joins 47 other states that have already passed this type of law.
Currently, the only regulations on texting and driving in Texas come from cities, as more than 100 cities across the state have texting and driving laws.
Gov. Abbott has called for a special session of the legislature on July 18 to pass an amendment to the texting and driving law to override these local regulations and prevent the creation of new ones. He hopes to ensure regulations on drivers’ use of mobile devices are uniform across the state.
If you were injured in a car accident caused by texting and driving, contact our Fort Worth car accident attorneys for a free consultation.
Texting and Driving Penalties
The law prohibits drivers from using portable wireless communication devices to read, write or send an electronic message while operating a motor vehicle, unless the vehicle is stopped.
A first offense is punishable by a fine between $25 and $99, while repeat offenses come with a $200 fine.
If a court finds that you violated the provisions of the law and your offense caused the death or serious bodily injury of another person, you will be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor. This is punishable by a fine of no more than $4,000 and a jail sentence of no more than one year.
Texting and Driving Statistics
Gov. Abbott said the bill helps ensure Texas is doing everything it can to prevent texting and driving.
This form of distracted driving was one of the main culprits in the nearly 110,000 distracted driving accidents that occurred last year. These distracted driving accidents caused 450 deaths and injuries to 3,000 people.
The authors of the law noted that texting can pull a driver’s eyes from the road for approximately 4.6 seconds. If you are traveling at 55 mph, your car will travel the length of a football field in that time. This dramatically increases your risk of being involved in a serious accident.
Furthermore, 40 percent of drivers ages 19 through 39 admit to texting while driving, with 10 percent of those drivers admitting to doing so regularly.
Concerns About the Ban
Some lawmakers have expressed concern that the ban will be tough for police officers to enforce, as it will be difficult to see if drivers are using their cellphones for texting.
Some are also concerned about the fact that police officers will be given more authority to pull over drivers because they see a cellphone, even though the driver may not be using it for texting.
Contact Our Fort Worth Attorneys Today
If you were injured in an accident caused by a driver who was texting, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
The personal injury attorneys of Anderson & Cummings can manage every aspect of your claim, fighting for your best interests every step of the way.
Schedule a free, no obligation legal consultation today to find out if you have a case. If you do, and you want to proceed, you will not be charged legal fees unless we recover compensation.
Call (817) 920-9000 or complete our Free Case Evaluation form today.