House gives texting-while-driving ban preliminary OKHouse passes ban on texting while driving
AUSTIN - Legislation to impose a statewide ban on texting while driving won preliminary approval Wednesday in the state House, where supporters cast the measure as a critical component to curbing thousands of distracted driving accidents in Texas every year. The legislation by state Rep. Tom Craddick, a Republican from Midland and the lower chamber's longest serving member, would make it a misdemeanor to read, write or send a text while driving. Some of the most fierce opposition to the bill came from Rep. Harold Dutton, D-Houston, who voiced concern that the proposal would give police a new justification to pull over drivers. State Rep. Keough, R-The Woodlands, also opposed the measure, arguing that if the Legislature was going to ban texting, it also should include a prohibition on applying makeup while driving and tinkering with the radio or the thermometer. The bill given initial approval by the House Wednesday carried an amendment clarifying that ordinances already passed by cities would not be affected and that cities still have ability to impose their own ordinances on hand-held devices while driving.