Texting While Driving
State Representative Tom Craddick (R – Midland) has, for the past two legislative sessions, worked diligently to pass legislation that would ban texting while driving in Texas. He is now seeking the support of cities in his efforts.
In 2011, Craddick’s H.B. 242 would have prohibited the operator of a motor vehicle from using a hand-held wireless communication device to read, write, or send a text-based communication while operating the vehicle, with several reasonable exceptions. The bill passed the legislature, but was vetoed by the governor. According to the governor’s veto message, “[t]exting while driving is reckless and irresponsible. I support measures that make our roads safer for everyone, but House Bill 242 is a government effort to micromanage the behavior of adults.”
In 2013, Craddick’s H.B. 63 was a similar bill that passed the House, but wasn’t acted on in the Senate. Representative Craddick has asked the League to share the following request with Texas cities:
We are gearing up once again to pass a statewide ban on texting while driving. Representative Tom Craddick will again lead this effort in the Texas Legislature. But he needs your help to get this done!
If your city council supports a statewide ban on texting while driving, please adopt a resolution and send it to your legislators and send a copy to Representative Craddick’s office.
This is an issue we all are passionate about. Thank you for anything you can do to work to get this legislation passed. Please send a copy of your resolution, and/or any questions, to Kate Huddleston in Representative Craddick’s office at Kate.Huddleston@house.state.tx.us.
Many cities have banned texting while driving, but Representative Craddick believes the issue is important enough for a uniform state law. The League’s current position on cell phone regulation is to oppose legislation that would create a state standard, but only if that standard preempts more restrictive current or future municipal cell phone bans.