Ban on Texting While Driving in Texas
If you think that texting while driving is something that is simply discouraged in the state of Texas, think again; texting while driving is against the law, thanks to legislation signed by governor Greg Abbott in June 2017. Here’s what you need to know about the ban on texting while driving in Texas, and what the consequences are for breaking the law–
Texas Law Geared at Cracking Down on Dangerous Drivers
As reported by an article in the Star-Telegram, the Texas law is designed to crack down on distracted drivers, and hopefully save lives as a result. Indeed, there were more than 3,000 people injured in crashes last year as a result of distracted drivers, with the crash rate being highest among young drivers. Further, statistics show that nearly half of all people who are between the ages of 19 and 39 admit to texting while driving.
The New Law
The new law bans the act of texting, including both reading or writing a text or other electronic message, while operating a motor vehicle. However, the law does not prevent motorists from using their phones for other things, such as GPS navigation, talking (so long as you’re using a hands-free device, per laws in at least 45 Texas cities that have enacted such ordinances), and music apps.
For those who are caught texting while driving–which is now a primary offense in Texas, which means that a driver ban pulled over and cited for texting while driving even if they aren’t doing anything else illegal–the charge will be a misdemeanor that carries a fine of between $25 and $99. Should a person be a repeat offender, they could face a penalty of up to $200.
If a person causes an accident causing serious bodily injury or death as a result of texting while driving, the penalty will be steeper. The crime will be classified as a Class A misdemeanor, which carries a penalty of a fine of up to $4,000, and a potential jail sentence of up to one year.
What to Do If You’re Charged with Texting While Driving
If you get pulled over and ticketed for texting while driving, or if you are facing charges for causing an accident as a result of texting while driving, you may benefit from a crimiDangerous Drivingal defense attorney on your side. While texting while driving is only a traffic offense, it could affect your insurance rates, and multiple charges could result in large fines.
At the offices of Brent D. Bowen, Attorney at Law, our experienced Texas criminal defense attorney wants to remind you to drive safe out there. If you are in an accident that you cause as a result of texting while driving, are cited for texting while driving, or are pulled over for texting while driving and are then charged with another offense (such as DUI or drug possession), our attorneys will be here to advocate for you. Call our law offices today for an initial consultation about your case and information about your options moving forward.