In the News

June is National Safety Month

June 1, 2015

June is a time for welcoming a summer break from school, hosting BBQ’s, and welcoming long days with family at the lake. June is also National Safety Month, and a time for us all to commit to ourselves, and each other, that we will not text while driving.

This year, National Safety Month covers five areas of importance: prescription painkiller abuse, transportation safety, ergonomics, emergency preparedness and slips, trips and falls.

All of the areas highlighted during National Safety Month are no doubt important, but I consider transportation safety to be where we could have taken the greatest strides to save lives on the state level--putting an end to distracted driving, more specifically, texting while driving. Unfortunately, as in previous sessions, a ban of texting while driving again failed to pass in this year’s session.

Right now in Texas we have a patchwork of texting bans. In one city you may be legal to text, but drive a mile further down the road and you’re breaking the law. Texans deserve some consistency and clarity in our laws. We came very close to accomplishing this during the 82nd Legislative session; I filed legislation to end the practice of texting while driving statewide. Ultimately, a bill was passed by the legislature but was vetoed by the Governor. In the 83rd session, and this year in the 84th, measures to curb texting while driving failed to pass the Senate.

Waiting to text until your vehicle is at a stop is just common sense. While I recognize that having a law in place will not ensure compliance, it will reinforce the danger to us and our fellow motorists, provide a teachable moment when mentoring our children, while providing a tool for law enforcement to deal with that motorist caught drifting across the double yellow line.

Texans covet our roads, and the freedom they provide to travel safely from home to school and church, the ball field, and the market. While we await the next legislative session and the passage of a law that provides clarity on the issue, let’s all use the month of June to recognize the importance of driving without distractions. The life you save could be your own.