POSTED: Tuesday, March 19, 2013 - 6:11pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, March 20, 2013 - 10:01am
Tyler, Texas (KETK) — There are currently 39 states in the U.S. that already have some type of texting and driving ban in place. Texas has a partial ban for texting in school zones, and restricts commercial truck drivers from texting.
But a new bill (House Bill 63) to enforce a statewide texting and driving ban is back on the table in Austin this session.
Governor Rick Perry vetoed the statewide texting and driving ban in June of 2012. However Texas State Representative of Smith County’s distict 6 says, ”I think the main motivation behind the bill is public safety."
If the bill gets adopted into law, the ban will begin September 1, 2013. And many East Texan’s KETK spoke with say they are all for it. Donna Turner of Tyler tells KETK, "I definitely think you should not text and drive and it should be a law.'
Paula Parker of Tyler tells KETK, “We're one of the very few states that doesn't have that law, and I think we should."
But this bill, as it's written now has some exceptions it says looking at your GPS or navigation device on your phone is okay but reading a text or sending a text would be illegal? So the question is, how will the police enforce this new law if it's passed? Scheafer says, "Perhaps this is unenforceable, how are you going to know if someone is using their GPS on their phone verses sending a text, they say 'oh well get their phone records' well that's a very difficult thing to do, you have to have a warrant for that."
Schaefer says he says he wants to clear up any issues with this bill before he votes on it. "I want to make sure that if we pass this law, it is clear and that it's enforceable, and not only that law enforcement can do their job but the public can understand what is legal and what isn't."
Elected officials will vote on this bill next week, and if passed texting and driving will become punishable by law and people could face fines up to $200.00.