The battle to ban texting and driving for all drivers across the entire state is expected to resurface once again in the upcoming legislative session. After several failed attempts, Texas lawmakers are under pressure to crack down on distracted drivers.
Advocates for the ban say they plan to push for a no texting and driving law in 2017 but their persistence is matched by some republican opposition. Known as the “Liberty Caucus,” republicans have successfully killed distracted driving bills in each of the last three sessions arguing a statewide law does not make drivers safer and infringes on the freedoms of Texas adults.
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, distracted drivers caused more than 100-thousand crashes in 2015. The democrat who introduced the bill that year says hundreds of deaths could have been prevented.
Both sides are prepared to debate the issue once again but even some supporters of a distracted driver law are expecting another defeat in 2017.
“I would not bet that the law passes. In fact if required to make a bet of real money, I would bet the law doesn’t pass,” Kirk Watson, Texas Senator (d)
From the Wichita Falls area, Representative James Frank voted against the ban in the state house vote last session. Republican Senator Craig Estes voted in favor of a 2011 distracted driving bill but that was later vetoed by then Governor Rick Perry.