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House Bill 243, which places a statewide ban on texting while driving, has been catching heat since its introduction into the 82nd Legislature, but all that has changed as lawmakers passed the bill after much deliberation late Sunday evening.
HB 243 was written by Midland Republican Rep. Tom Craddick. According to the bill, the ban includes all "text-based communication," meaning communication sent from a wireless communication device for the purpose of manually communicating with another person in a written medium. The ban would include text messages, instant messages and emails. Drivers caught texting, emailing or instant messaging on their phones can be fined more than $200.
"Now, depending on how the bill -- and subsequent offense -- is written, it will determine how we handle it," he said. "Sometimes, it may just be easier to develop [probable cause] for a stop and cite based on other traffic violations, like failure to maintain a single lane of travel, speeding, etc. Those types of offenses usually accompany texting or distracted driving and are more easily articulated in citing someone."
"In the past, someone may be holding their phone on the steering wheel with their eyes straight ahead, so they are somewhat paying attention," he said. "Now they will hold it in their lap and look down to avoid being caught."
Preemption Laws: Many localities have passed their own distracted driving bans. However, some states – such as Fla., Ky., La., Miss., Nev., and Okla. – prohibit localities from enacting such laws.
Originally posted by Lemon.Fresh
One BIG problem I have with this:
Proof of Texting?
I have a Droid. I have music from my phone going to the radio via bluetooth. If I am switching songs, and look down, I get a ticket for texting?
Also, I personally know some people that monitor their Facebook, different forums and blogs . . . on their phones while driving. Not texting, but equally distracting.
Lastly, for all who say that records can be retrieved from the carrier. That only really would apply to SMS messages. What of people using IM's to chat while driving?
Way to many holes in this law
Edit: One more problem. What happens with voice to text? I have an app that reads my texts and emails to me, and I can respond back without looking or even touching my phone.
So is that breaking the law, and if so, how would they catch that?edit on 6/2/2011 by Lemon.Fresh because: (no reason given)edit on 6/2/2011 by Lemon.Fresh because: (no reason given)