breaking news

Lawsuit from Planned Parenthood, legal group targets new Texas abortion restriction

Texas House approves ban on texting while driving


Highlights

The bill may not have enough support in the Senate.

Texas is one of just four states to not ban the practice.

Once again, the Texas House has given preliminary approval to a statewide ban on texting while driving. And once again, it faces an uphill battle to become law.

Preventing Texas drivers from using their cell phones behind the wheel has been a priority of state Rep. Tom Craddick, R-Midland, since 2009.

In a 113-32 vote, the House on Tuesday gave preliminary approval to Craddick’s House Bill 62. The effort faces an uncertain future in the Senate because of opposition from conservatives who see the ban as a way to limit drivers’ freedom.

Craddick pitched the bill as a commonsense public safety measure. “It’s the major cause of accidents and deaths in this country and in this state,” he said.

A Senate committee on Monday approved Senate Bill 31, an identical measure, by a 6-3 vote.

The bill would assess a $99 fine on first-time offenders and a $200 fine on repeat offenses.

Craddick’s previous attempts have been defeated in various ways. Last session, the bill passed the House but did not have enough support to come up for a vote in the Senate. In 2011, it passed both chambers only to be vetoed by then-Gov. Rick Perry.

Forty-six states have banned texting while driving, according to the National Conference on State Legislatures.

Using a cell phone while driving is also banned in Austin, among other Texas cities.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Texas News & Politics

Lawsuit from abortion providers targets new Texas restriction
Lawsuit from abortion providers targets new Texas restriction

Texas abortion providers and a advocates filed a federal court lawsuit Thursday seeking to overturn a new Texas law that will limit the most commonly used second-trimester procedure. The restriction, included in sweeping abortion regulations approved in the closing days of the Legislature’s regular session in May, is set to take effect Sept....
NEW DETAILS: Officials: Corrections officer had cocaine packed in car to deliver
NEW DETAILS: Officials: Corrections officer had cocaine packed in car to deliver

A Williamson County correctional officer who was charged this week after cocaine was found in his car had the illegal drug packaged up for delivery, according to an arrest affidavit released Thursday. Deputies found a black sock under the front seat of Richard Acuna Jr.’s car on Tuesday that contained 13 plastic baggies with cocaine in them,...
SCAM ALERT: Thieves posing as IRS workers demand money over phone, police say
SCAM ALERT: Thieves posing as IRS workers demand money over phone, police say

Austin police are warning the public about a phone scam in which callers pose as IRS employees looking for money. Several people in Austin have reported these scam calls, police said in a statement Thursday.  According to police, the scammer’s caller ID resembles an Austin Police Department number, 512-974-8243, to appear legitimate. The...
Community news: Austin Regional Clinic accepts Sendero patients

TRAVIS COUNTY TRAVIS COUNTY Clinics accept Sendero patients The Austin Regional Clinic announced that members of Sendero Health Plans can seek care at its clinics. ARC has 22 clinic locations across Travis, Hays and Williamson counties, offering access to more than 325 primary and specialty care providers. Sendero is a nonprofit group based in Austin...
SPECIAL SESSION: $1 million ad buy to target transgender bathroom bill
SPECIAL SESSION: $1 million ad buy to target transgender bathroom bill

One day before a Senate committee hearing on a bill to limit transgender-friendly bathroom polices, the Texas Association of Business on Thursday announced a $1 million radio ad campaign targeting the legislation as an unnecessary distraction “from the real challenges we face.” Also Thursday, leaders of the national Episcopal Church released...
More Stories