Amend Texas 85(R) HB 62 to Include Ban on ALL Non-Hands Free Cell Phone Use While Driving
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The new 2017 Texas legislation regarding texting-while-driving does not go far enough to prevent automobile related accidents. Although texting-while-driving is now banned, the legislation still allows the use of phones for texting purposes at red lights, which I think is inappropriate. Someone might not see when the light turns green and a driver behind might begin to move forward prematurely, which could result in an accident. Additionally, it is unclear how the new legislation applies to the use of web browsers and other applications, as the legislation is aimed at using "electronic messages" via a "wireless communication device". To this end, the use of one's cell phone for music and GPS (even in non-hands free situations) is not prohibited, which would still cause drivers to have their attention diverted from the road.
Basically, I propose that the legislation should be amended to explicitly include a ban on all non-hands free use of cell phones when someone is on the road and in the driver's seat. This will allow the driver to always keep his/her eyes on the road while still being able to communicate in emergency/important situations.
While vehicles have undoubtedly improved our ability to travel to different parts of our community and beyond, they also require a great deal of responsibility on the part of the operator. A momentary lack of concentration while on the road could have severe implications for one's and/or someone else's life. Thus, it is important to minimize distractions as much as possible to ensure that the driver's focus is dedicated to making sure he/she and everyone else on the road can reach their destinations in as safe a way as possible.
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