For the last decade, texting while driving has been an incredibly daunting issue in the state of Texas. Even after Texas lawmakers put a ban on electronic messaging while driving, Texans still drive and use their phones. We all see it happen every single day. It is a regular occurrence to see someone distracting themselves with a cell phone in the driver’s seat.
Even after the ban on electronic messaging, why is Texas not moving forward with a total ban? With states like Minnesota approaching the one year mark of completely banning electronic devices for drivers, lawmakers are still pushing back on this total ban in Texas.
Lawmakers are looking at leading states like Minnesota in this initiative. To keep drivers focussing on the road instead of their smartphones, Minnesota made the declaration of a “hands-free” driving law. But now that a year has passed, has Minnesota really seen any improvement on their issues of texting and driving?
Minnesotans saw a $120 fine for having a phone in their hands while driving for their first offense. However, the price of the fine doubles if you are guilty a second time. There is a question that needs to be asked. Since Minnesota put this law in place, did it work? In fact, the law did work. With that being said, does this mean other states, like Texas, could adopt this law and see similar results?
Can Minnesota’s Success be Replicated in Texas?
Even with a slight increase from year to year in citations given, the state as a whole saw an overall decrease of 4% in distraction-related deaths since the law went into effect August 1st of 2019. With the new restrictions on those up north, should Texans continue to urge lawmakers to pass a similar law?
As recent as February, lawmakers in Texas made it clear they did not want to pass a full phone ban. With the public outcry generally consisting of distaste for more restrictions, the question remains what else will prevent more distraction-related accidents from happening?
The state of Texas as a whole needs to explore options to lower the rate of car and truck accidents. By lowering the rate of car accidents there is a far less chance of car accident-related injuries and fatalities. The second-largest contributing factor to car accidents is distracted driving.
With laws already governing against the largest contributor to car wrecks, speeding, we need to start leaning in that direction. With the first year of the Minnesota experiment in the books, one can argue the best option would be for the Lone Star state to follow the North Star state’s lead.
Hit by a texting driver? Your injuries deserve compensation
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