I try not to talk too much about politics here, but the I do have an exception for tort reform issues and safety issues. Last Friday, Governor Perry made what I think is a dangerous decision on a safety issue.
One of the good things to come out of this legislative session was HB 242, which imposed a state-wide ban on texting while driving, among other things. This was a huge step in making the roadways safer for all Texas motorists. It also received bi-partisan support in both the House and the Senate, where it passed almost unanimously.
Unfortunately, last Friday, Governor Perry vetoed the texting-while driving bill.
What almost offends me more than the veto is Perry’s “reasoning” for the veto. In vetoing, he stated that the bill was an “overreach” that attempts to “micromanage the behavior of adults.” He then added that a more appropriate measure may be more education of drivers.
Is the speed limit an overreach? Or laws against driving while intoxicated? Because study after study finds that texting while driving is more dangerous than both. From the cases we see on a regular basis, texting while driving is perhaps the biggest roadway danger out there. And with Governor Perry’s assistance, the state refuses to do much about it.
I’m also upset about his suggestion that education might be the answer. That’ obviously wrong. People know about the dangers of texting while driving, but they do it anyway. And more importantly, as far as I can tell, Governor Perry hasn’t proposed any new education effort to help spread the dangers of texting while driving. He’s not even helping push what he claims is the solution to the problem.
I thought I might be in the minority on my view because I see the dangers of texting while driving on a daily basis, but I was happy to see that a West Texas news station found that even typically conservative West Texans disagreed with the veto. KWES News9 has a great article/story with reactions from their part of the state, and I urge you to read their article.
So for now, politics again gets in the way of safety. While the texting while driving ban wouldn’t prevent all people from texting while driving, but it would have helped. But for now, the carnage continues.
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