Texas Finally Passes Ban on Texting & Driving

Texas Finally Passes Ban on Texting & Driving

by Susan Neuhalfen

Beginning September 1, it will be against the law to text while driving in Texas.

Finally.

After a long and arduous effort by many and four attempts by state lawmakers, Texas finally passed the ban and the Governor Greg Abbot has signed it.

Over 100 cities in Texas, including Argyle, had already taken it upon themselves to enforce their own ban.

An accident that killed Lantana residents Emma and Tita Shaffer in April of 2016 was determined to be the result of another driver texting and driving. Many Lantana residents as well as Liberty Christian students and parents took it upon themselves to make their voices heard with a #TEXTFREEFORTITA campaign. As recently as last month, James Shaffer, the widower of Emma and father of Tita, spoke to students at Guyer High School about the dangers of texting and driving. He has tirelessly worked to pressure lawmakers to ban the use of hand held electronics while driving. Finally all of his hard work, as well as that of many residents of Lantana, has paid off.

Shaffer’s speech at Guyer was part of an assembly for students on the dangers of distracted driving. Attorney Rocky Haire, Pro-Care Collision owner Kevin Pyle and Allstate Insurance Agent Mark Tucker were featured along with other presenters including the Berry family of Houston, who were hit by a distracted driver while coming home from a family vacation. Both parents were killed and two of the three children were paralyzed from the waist down. They have started the OLIE (One Life is Enough) campaign to combat distracted driving.

Texting would be punishable by a fine of up to $99 for first-time offenders and $200 for repeat offenders. The law covers texting only, while Internet use navigation or music will be allowed. These changes were made in order to get the support necessary to pass the ban.


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