Editorial: Ban on texting a step in the right direction for safer roads

With a vote of 98-47, the Texas House of Representatives recently passed a bill banning texting while driving. Should the bill become law, it would make Texas the 40th state in the U.S. to pass legislation outlawing texting and driving.
Gov. Rick Perry has threatened to veto the legislation, claiming, “The key to dissuading drivers from texting while driving is information and education, not government micromanagement.”
Banning texting while driving is less micromanagement and more common sense.
In 2011, at least 23 percent – 1.3 million crashes — of auto collisions involved cell phones.
San Antonio already has a law in place banning texting while driving. The city is in good company – texting and driving has already been banned in El Paso, Austin and Universal City.
According to a 2011 Virgina Tech study, 77 percent of young adults are very or somewhat confident that they can safely text while driving, but according to TxDOT, distracted driving was linked to 90,378 crashes in 2012. This number cannot be directly correlated to texting specifically, but texting is one of the contributing distractions.
But how could such a ban be enforced?
The new bill stated that if a driver is caught texting while driving, the individual could be charged with a $100 fine for the first offense and a $200 fine for the second offense. There are some exceptions, including using the GPS feature, or using a device in an emergency situation.
The proposed law is a good decision with fair repercussions. Texas should ban texting while driving and Rick Perry, would be wrong to veto the legislation.
Education is not enough. Texas drivers need to face consequences to their actions, and the fair fine will prevent drivers from making decisions they may regret.

Don’t Text and Drive Texas. It can wait.