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#26 2017-04-02 10:13:33

chuckthomas
Member
From: Far NW Austin
Registered: 2008-05-27
Posts: 76

Re: Texas one of only six states with no cell/device-use ban

The driver was already violating several laws. A texting law (or any other law) will do nothing to stop people like this.  Probably the best thing that could have been done was to have an armed person in a nearby vehicle shoot out his tires.

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#27 2017-04-02 13:09:40

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 976
Website

Re: Texas one of only six states with no cell/device-use ban

The laws he was breaking were the *result* of his texting while driving.

RedFalcon nailed it:  Laws are signals about what's acceptable behavior.  When something's against the law, the public generally starts agreeing that there's a reason for it, and violating it becomes a stigma.  Not 100%, but that's not the point:  The more people act safer, the safer we'll all be.

This concept was really driven home to me when we used to put "tickets" on cars parked in bike lanes, asking people to not do that.  Frequently we encountered drivers who invariably exclaimed, "But it's not against the law!"  That is, for huge numbers of people, their moral compass is tied directly to what's legal and what's not:  If it's not against the LAW, then they think it must be perfectly fine.

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#28 2017-04-02 13:49:12

RedFalcon
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Registered: 2013-10-10
Posts: 116

Re: Texas one of only six states with no cell/device-use ban

If the consequences for breaking the existing laws about irresponsible driving were worth a damn I might be convinced that we don't really need another one.  But, those laws are not going to get any tougher in the universe in which we find ourselves.

If the driver who caused this crash could be charged with one more crime that would be a good thing.  Maybe the more charges that can be made against drivers like this the less likely they would get off too lightly in the end.

Did this pick up truck driver die after admitting he was texting?  I thought I had read that he died too, but now I can't find that.  Oh, that reminds me, I listen to a great legal podcast called 'Opening Arguments'.    Recently, they were talking about how these on-the-spot confessions tend to play out in court.  If this driver didn't die he may still get away with it.

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#29 2017-04-02 14:59:05

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 976
Website

Re: Texas one of only six states with no cell/device-use ban

From the article:

Washington Post wrote:

Officials said Friday that investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board hope to talk to Young, who is hospitalized in stable condition.

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#30 2017-04-02 18:55:18

RedFalcon
Member
Registered: 2013-10-10
Posts: 116

Re: Texas one of only six states with no cell/device-use ban

Ah, right there, last line.  Well, maybe they could send him a text.

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#31 2017-05-17 17:54:14

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 976
Website

Re: Texas one of only six states with no cell/device-use ban

In this session, the House passed their version of the texting ban 113-32. 

SB 31 made it out of committee, with only GOP members voting against it.  Big surprise.

The Texas Tribune says that this time around many senators who were against it last time are now supporting it.  On the other hand, time is running out this session...

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#32 2017-05-19 15:51:48

Jack
Member
Registered: 2013-03-27
Posts: 192

Re: Texas one of only six states with no cell/device-use ban

Senate voted today 23 to 8 to finally pass texting while driving ban --  H.B. No. 62 "the Alex Brown Memorial
Act"    http://tlis/BillLookup/Actions.aspx?LegSess=85R&Bill=HB62 (S.B. No. 31's "companion bill")

Last edited by Jack (2017-05-19 19:39:59)

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#33 2017-05-20 12:05:43

Jack
Member
Registered: 2013-03-27
Posts: 192

Re: Texas one of only six states with no cell/device-use ban

From http://www.star-telegram.com/news/polit … 40422.html which seems reasonably accurate.

HB 62 makes it a criminal offense if someone uses a “wireless communication device” while driving to “read, write or send an electronic message while operating a motor vehicle unless the vehicle is stopped.”

Violations would be a misdemeanor crime, punishable by a fine between $25 and $99, unless the person already has been convicted of such an offense. Multiple offenses would draw fines between $100 and $200, according to the bill.

Craddick has said he will agree with changes made in the Senate. If that happens, and if Abbott signs the bill into law as expected, a ban on texting and driving will go into effect Sept. 1.

* * *

Under the 2017 bill, Texas motorists could still talk on the phone while driving, if motorists have a “hands-free device” that only requires them to briefly touch the phone or car to begin or end a call.

It also would not be a violation for a Texas motorist to summon emergency help, report illegal activity, read a text a driver “reasonably believed concerned an emergency” or communicate with a dispatcher while behind the wheel.

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#34 2017-05-21 21:48:46

Jack
Member
Registered: 2013-03-27
Posts: 192

Re: Texas one of only six states with no cell/device-use ban

The House tonight concurred with the Senate's amendments to HB No. 62, so it will go to the governor now.

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#35 2017-05-25 20:39:29

Jack
Member
Registered: 2013-03-27
Posts: 192

Re: Texas one of only six states with no cell/device-use ban

Jack wrote:

The House tonight concurred with the Senate's amendments to HB No. 62, so it will go to the governor now.

Which might be roughly like not passing it:  http://www.texastribune.org/2017/05/25/ … ium=social

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#36 2017-06-06 15:10:22

Jack
Member
Registered: 2013-03-27
Posts: 192

Re: Texas one of only six states with no cell/device-use ban

Today 06/06/2017 Gov. Abbott signed SB 62 and it will go into effect 9/1/2017. 
Also, the Gov. said today he will add to the call for a special session beginning 7/18 the subject of legislation on other electronics while driving.

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#37 2017-06-09 23:55:51

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 976
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Re: Texas one of only six states with no cell/device-use ban

News outlets are reporting that the new texting-while-driving ban isn't just worse than the law Austin had (which has been usurped by the state law), it's essentially impossible to enforce.

The Austin law banned holding an electronic device.  If the police saw you holding the device, you could be cited.  That was very easy to enforce.

The Texas law bans only texting.  The police would have to see you actually texting, which is a near impossibility.  There's no way to tell whether someone tapping on their phone was texting (illegal) or punching in a street address into Google Maps (legal).

Also, making handheld voice calls while driving is perfectly fine under the Texas law.

Just as with TNC's, the State has taken away Austin's ability to govern itself.  Next on the chopping block, the State wants to do away with Austin's ordinances that protect trees.

Every once in a while there's talk of Texas seceding from the U.S.  How about Austin just secede from Texas?

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