Distracted driving is a growing trend in the US, bordering on becoming an epidemic. We have all driven by somebody holding a cell phone, or more frighteningly, somebody looking down at their phone to type a message. With more wireless gadgets available, drivers’ focus and attention are not always on the road where they should be. According to the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles, distracted driving is the cause of 23% of all car crashes in the United States.
Cell phone use, particularly texting, causes more distracted driving incidents than does talking to other passengers, eating, or drinking. Therefore, after years of pressure by driving safety advocates, a new law specifically calls out cell phone use.
The new law signed in June by Texas Governor Abbott outlaws texting while driving, stating that one may not “read, write, or send an electronic message while driving.” The law takes effect September 1, 2017. Those caught violating the law will face a misdemeanor charge and fines anywhere from $25 to $200, depending upon how many other infractions they have. (Star Telegram)
Currently in effect are primary laws in various counties. These laws allow police to pull a driver over for that specific offense. For distracted driving, they are:
- A ban on cell phone use for novice drivers. This means texting or calling, even hands-free. It includes all wireless devices.
- A ban on cell phone use for any bus drivers. This means texting or calling, even hands-free. It includes all wireless devices
- All drivers are banned from using cell phones to make calls, or to send and/or receive text messages while driving in a school zone.
Additionally, the Texas Department of Transportation lists more than 90 cities with cell phone ordinances.
If you have been involved or hurt in an accident caused by a distracted driver, contact us at Springer & Lyle so that we can advocate for you.
Fortunately, the Offices of Springer & Lyle are already aware of many changes in the laws that have been passed by different cities. We are also aware of the catastrophic injuries that result from distracted driving. If you or someone you know has been a victim of texting while driving or distracted charges, call Springer & Lyle for help right away.