Earlier this summer, the Texas Senate passed a bill banning texting while driving statewide. Insurance companies supported this measure as the change in culture would save lives on the road. The new law holds teens and adults accountable for their actions in hopes of preventing fatal crashes. Cities ordinances around the state have banned texting while driving for a while but now it is illegal statewide. Drivers caught by police officers using a phone to text, send email or post to social media will be fined. The fine for drivers who text will be up to $99 for first offense and $200 for each offense thereafter. Only drivers seen texting while in a moving vehicle will be penalized with fines as a result of this law. The text ban does not apply to drivers using their phone as a GPS or music device.
Safety Tips to Avoid Texting While Driving
- Get in the habit of taking calls or sending text messages before you start driving.
- If you have other passengers in your car designate that person to check your phone for texts or calls when you are driving.
- Store your phone in the glove compartment or purse so you do not peek at it and make sure not to reach for it.
- Silence any notifications on your phone to avoid temptation.
- Search for apps on your phone that will block incoming messages or send automatic responses while driving.
- Practice being patient and consider whether it is worth risking your safety to make a call or read a text.
- If you cannot wait to answer a call or text pull your vehicle over in a safe location to do so.
It is important to enforce texting while driving laws and change our driving behavior to encourage drivers to not pick up the phone while driving.