By KATIE BROWN
Editor in chief
Texas Representative Tom Craddick is again gathering support from the legislation for his bill to ban texting and driving in Texas.
Craddick proposed the bill, which bans reading, writing or sending text messages while driving, after the death of teenager Alex Brown in 2009. Police on Brown’s case said that texting while driving caused the teen’s death.
According to a Jan. 29 article in The Texas Tribune, Governor Rick Perry originally vetoed the bill in 2011 due to the bill’s tendency to seem like “a government effort to micromanage the behavior of adults.”
Craddick’s bill needs to pass. Over 11,000 deaths due to distracted driving occurred in 2011.
Too many people, especially teens and young adults, become overly comfortable with driving and forget that they are propelling a several thousand pound machine at 60 miles per hour down a road filled with other humans.
Driving, although a common practice, is dangerous and cannot be taken lightly.
Students must limit their distractions, especially cell phones, when operating vehicles.
The passing of the bill will not solve all driving problems, however.
Craddick’s bill only prohibits sending, writing or reading text messages as well as communicating through social media, such as Facebook or Twitter.
The law allows for drivers to input a number in their phone, take a phone call and use GPS programs in their phones.
I know from personal experience that staring down at a GPS and trying to navigate can be more dangerous than texting while driving.
The problem of how police officers and other law enforcement personnel will be able to tell the difference between a driver texting and using a GPS arises.
If, however, Craddick’s bill stops one person from texting and saves that one life, it must be passed.
Texting while operating a motor vehicle remains a huge temptation to most drivers.
Taking just a few seconds to glance down at a phone or shoot off a few words seems inconsequential.
The reality, however, is that those few seconds can end the lives of the driver, passengers and any number of other motorists. Texting while driving is an unnecessary risk.
Craddick’s bill, although not able to completely solve the problem of distracted driving, is definitely a good first step in the direction of bringing down the shockingly large death rate due to texting and driving.