Texting and Driving Bill Clears Senate

Below is an excerpt from “Bill to ban texting while driving clears Senate,” published on the Texas Tribune, by Alana Rocha and Matthew Watkins. Read the entire article at https://www.texastribune.org/2017/05/19/bill-ban-texting-while-driving-clears-senate/.

This is an important step to protect Texas drivers from preventable accidents. Think twice before texting and driving.

Legislation that would create a statewide texting-while-driving ban overcame a last-ditch attempt in the Senate on Friday to gut the bill. The bill’s author, state Rep. Tom Craddick, R-Midland, said he will concur with the changes the Senate made. The measure will then head to Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk.

Texas is one of four states that do not currently have a statewide ban on texting and driving.

After the bill passed, Craddick walked across the Capitol to hug Zaffirini and thank senators for their vote. After lingering for about 15 minutes, he mouthed “thank you” to Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and walked out.

In a brief interview afterward, Craddick said he worked with Zaffirini and other senators on the amendments that the Senate approved. He said he is pleased with the current version and has the votes needed in the House to accept the changes without needing to call a conference committee of both chambers to hash out a compromise.

“It feels great,” he said. “It’s a relief to get it done.”

He added that he expects Abbott to sign the bill. He hasn’t had direct communication with the governor’s office about its plans but said that Abbott told acquaintances in Midland he planned to sign the bill during a recent visit.

“He said he will support the bill and will sign it,” he said.

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