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What You Need to Know about Texas’ Texting and Driving Ban

Jason Eisenberg | TSM
Jason Eisenberg | TSM

The new texting and driving ban signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott takes effect in another six weeks, but there are some things we need to know now to prep for it.

Like how high are the fines?

If we’re stopped at a red light and we look over at other cars in that intersection, we’re bound to see drivers looking down at their phones, typing away.  Doing that later this summer, it can result in a fine of $25-99 for first-time offenders, and $100-200 for repeat offenders.

And check this out. The Dallas-based JR Law Firm says if an accident “is caused by texting and driving and results in the death or serious bodily injury of another person, [the driver] can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed $4,000 and confinement in jail for a term not to exceed one year.”

Police will start passing out tickets for texting and driving when the law goes into effect on September 1st.

State lawmakers might actually make more changes before the ban goes into effect too. They’ll be back in Austin for a special session July 18th, and they could pass a law that would roll back all of the texting and driving ordinances at the city and county level, so we’d have just one umbrella ban at the state level instead of hundreds of patchwork little ones.

Nacogdoches. Jacksonville, and Mount Pleasant are some of the East Texas towns with their own city-wide texting and driving bans right now, and would be impacted by that change.

Look at it this way.  Leaving the phone alone while you’re behind the wheel will give you a whole lot more freedom to concentrate on important things, like driving.  And listening to the radio (winky face). We will still be there for you with road trip songs and fun things to win, and we promise not to fine you.  Drive safely, k?

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