Texas Gov. Abbott signs statewide ban on texting while driving

Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday signed into law a bill that creates a statewide ban on texting while driving.

Illustration by Todd Wiseman
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by, Emma Platoff (The Texas Tribune)
Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday signed into law a bill that creates a statewide ban on texting while driving.

The measure, authored by state Rep. Tom Craddick, R-Midland, goes into effect Sept. 1. This is the fourth session in a row Craddick has tried to pass such a ban. Former Gov. Rick Perry vetoed a similar proposal in 2011, calling it a “governmental effort to micromanage the behavior of adults.”

Abbott hesitated for several days before signing the bill, prompting speculation that he was undecided on the ban.

The governor announced that he had signed the bill at a press conference Tuesday, when he also announced a series of priorities for a special legislative session to start July 18. Among those priorities is further work on the ban, which Abbott said “did not fully achieve my goals.”

“I was not satisfied with the law as it was written,” Abbott said Tuesday. “Now that Texas does have a statewide ban on texting and driving, I am calling for legislation that fully pre-empts cities and counties from any regulation of mobile devices in vehicles. We don’t need a patchwork quilt of regulations that dictate driving practices in Texas.”

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