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Car Wreck/Safe Driving Tidbits

There have been a number of auto accident/safe driving stories over the last few weeks, but I just haven’t had time to write on them. Instead of ignoring them, I thought I’d put up a brief post touching on each story.

Austin is moving forward with a plan to ban text messaging while driving. The city council has agreed to the ban, and city staff is now charged with coming up with a statute. As you may know, text messaging while driving is one of our most popular topics with the following posts:

* In Study of Truck Drivers, Texting While Driving Proves To Significantly Increase Risks of Wrecks
* More Studies Confirm Texting While Driving Is Worse Than Driving Drunk
* Text Messaging (and Twittering) While Driving
* Car Wrecks -Text Messaging While Driving

Several new driving laws go into effect today. Namely, everyone riding in a vehicle must wear a seat belt, all children under the age of eight and under 4’9″ tall must use a booster seat, drivers in school zones may not use cell phones without a hands-free device.

Also today, it became easier for police departments around the state to take blood samples of suspected drunk drivers without a warrant. Previously, warrants were required unless the person was involved in a wreck that had a serious personal injury. As of today, the law allows warrantless searches when a person is involved in a wreck causing any injury, when the driver has a passenger younger than 15, or when the driver has prior DWI convictions. Interestingly, the APD did its first blood draw under the new law less than thirty minutes after the new law took effect. You can check out the blog of our friends at Sumpter & Gonzalez to get a view from the criminal defense bar.

Capital Metro’s commuter rail is once again delayed. We’ve been following the safety risks associated with the new light rail for some time now.

* Will Capital Metro’s MetroRail Ever Be Safe?
* What A Train Wreck! Literally — New Rail Safety Features Malfunction

That’s it for today. I’ll try and do a little better staying up to date.

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