By Griffen Smith | TEXAS
On Tuesday, June 6th, Governor Gregg Abbot (R) signed a bill into law that makes texting and driving illegal.
Texas is the 47th state to pass a ban on texting and has set the fines at $99 for first offenders and $200 dollars for repeat offenders. One thing to consider is that it does not ban cellphones all together. In fact, the bill explains how you can use phones for GPS, music, and emergency purposes. It is set to take effect on September 1st, 2017. This bill also comes with governor Abbot asking local governments to roll back any local rules that ban mobile devices used beyond texting while driving. He says “We don’t need a patchwork of regulations” around the state.
The signing of the bill comes after a deadly church bus crash near Garner state park that killed 13 people in March due to distracted driving. The Texas Department of Transportation added that 1 in 5 crashed in Texas are due to distracted driving with caused 455 deaths in 2016 alone.