Illegal – texting and driving?

July 4, 2011

Issue:

On June 17, Governor Rick Perry vetoed a bill that would make texting and driving illegal in the state of Texas. His reasoning is, “…House Bill 242 is a government effort to micromanage the behavior of adults”.¬† Later in the hot summer month of June, the city of Arlington, Texas has picked up this issue and is looking at the possibility of enacting local ordinance(s) that would make texting and driving illegal within its city
limits.

Opinion:

I believe that texting and driving is extremely dangerous. While, I hate to admit it, I do have firsthand knowledge of this fact. Luckily, I
didn’t hurt anyone or damage any property, but I have definitely left my lane and hit a curb or two, while trying to get a quick response out to a business contact or a loved one. I do have a loose interior light in my truck that reminds me of how close I came to something that could had been much worse.

That being said, I applaud Gov. Perry for vetoing this house bill. I do not feel this is an issue that needs to be taken up by national or state
level legislatures. As our founding fathers understood, we are a people of many cultures and varying beliefs. I believe we should be governed, at the federal and state level, minimally and without sweeping strokes. What is good in New York or California is not necessarily good for the folks that reside in Austin or San Antonio. Additionally, what is good for people in Austin or Dallas is not necessarily right for the residents of Hico or Earth.

If the counties or local municipalities want to take up writing ordinances, I believe that would be fine. Strong community government would
help reinforce what a community wants for itself and how it either grows, sustains, or deteriorates. This would allow us, as Americans, to decide if we can live with the governing of us and our families or move to another place in our great country where the laws are something that we believe in.

However, I believe we already have laws on the books, at the local, state and federal level that can be leveraged to stop texting and
driving, and any other use of a smart-phone or device in an automobile. An example would be my great state’s Transportation Code. This code defines reckless driving and the fines/punishment for reckless driving. Do we need yet another rule that will one day get lost in the minds of those that are sworn to protect and serve?

References:

Gov Perry vetoes texting while driving ban –http://blogs.star-telegram.com/politex/2011/06/perry-vetoes-texting-while-driving-ban-22-other-bills.html#ixzz1R2pX66hV

Arlington picks up where Gov left off.http://www.star-telegram.com/2011/06/28/3186443/texas-wont-ban-driver-texting.html

Texting While Driving Statistics Рhttp://www.infographicsshowcase.com/driving-while-texting-infographic/

State of Texas Transportation Code – http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/TN/htm/TN.545.htm

Advertisements