On September 1st, 2017, the statewide ban on texting and driving signed by Gov. Abbot takes effect. Changes to the Transportation Code will allow law enforcement officers to cite drivers who are observed using a wireless communication device. First offenses can be fined from $25 to $99, repeat offenders can be fined as much as $200. If a driver who is texting causes a death or serious injury to another person, they can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor, fined as much as $4,000 and sent to jail for up to one year.
Here are some statistics about distracted driving in the Central Texas area:
- 45 lives were lost in crashes where at least one of the drivers was not paying attention to the road – 13% of fatal crashes were related to distracted driving.
- Distracted driving was a contributing factor in 1,170 crashes in our region between 2012 and 2016.
With your help, we can educate drivers of all ages to make safe choices and prevent needless loss of precious lives. You can view the text of the bill, known as the Alex Brown Memorial Act, here.