Some residents urged members of the governing body to prohibit all use of cell phones while behind the wheel. The issue raised a furor among some of those in attendance at the meeting. Gilmore Morris resigned form the Traffic Safety Commission, saying the Council did not go far enough in banning cell phones from the roads.
“You have shown no fortitude in dealing with this deadly problem,” Morris said.
The Texas Department of Transportation estimates that 20 percent of all traffic accidents in the Lone Star State are caused by distracted drivers. In 2013, 459 people lost their lives in such accidents in the state, the agency reported.
In a separate move, the city council also passed a ban on all new gas on oil drilling. That prohibition is due to expire on September 9th, or until local laws are revised. This regulation was passed just hours before an agreement between the city and EagleRidge Energy, a local oil company, was due to expire.
Texas is one of just seven states that does not prohibit texting while driving. In 2001, the state legislature passed such a law, but it was vetoed by Governor Rick Perry. Numerous cities and locales in the state have banned the practice.