In some states, texting and driving is already illegal. The State of Texas has joined in, and starting next month, there will be penalties for those that continue to use the text messaging feature on their cell phones while driving a motor vehicle. Find out exactly when it begins and what the penalties will be for those that are caught.
According to the Facebook page for the McCulloch County Sheriff’s Office, texting while driving will be illegal in Texas beginning on September 1, 2017. The law refers to any reading, writing, or sending electronic messages over a wireless device. It will be a class C misdemeanor with a range of penalties.
First-time offenders will receive a fine ranging from $25 to $99. Those that continue to get caught texting and driving could be fined up to $200. If texting while driving results in a car accident with an injury, then the penalties are much stiffer. The driver could be charged with a class A misdemeanor. The penalty for that offense is a fine of up to $4,000 and a maximum one-year jail sentence.
There are mixed reactions on social media regarding the new law. Many people on Facebook commented that they use their cell phones while driving for GPS, not texting. However, there are ways that police officers could figure that out.
There were others who claimed that officers should also be banned from using their phones and computers while driving police cars. Some felt using a computer while driving was far more dangerous. However, as one commenter explained, it is an advance in technology. Prior to computers being installed in police cars, information had to be relayed over the radio. Sometimes, this resulted in miscommunication and wasted time.
According to the Huffington Post, there are several alarming statistics regarding texting while driving. In 2013, the number of car accidents that involved texting and driving totaled 341,000. Nearly half of those surveyed admitted they text and drive, even though 98 percent know it is unsafe. It was also reported that nine Americans die each day from distracted driving. This not only includes texting, but also things like eating while operating a motor vehicle.
What do you think of the State of Texas making texting and driving illegal?
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