As the Texas legislature again readies to pass another no-texting law, Governor Perry’s office again said it will veto that law if passed. Governor Perry did last session because he believes that such a law is governmental interference in an individual’s life. He called it “micromanaging adult human behavior”. That’s odd for out state’s top elected public official to say. I though all laws were aimed at micromanaging human behavior, adults and children alike.
The problem is that Governor Perry has not driven a car on a city street or highway since December 2000. The Governor has not personally observed texting drivers in action and does not appreciate the aggravation and serious risk these idiots pose to everyone on and near the road. The Governor naively says we need to educate drivers of the dangers of distracted driving, not pass laws to prohibit it. The Governor needs a bit of that education so he can see that education has not worked, and anti-texting law is needed to curb this ever increasingly widespread and dangerous practice. The education he needs, however, is about what is happening on the streets and highways in the real world. Consider these facts from textinganddrivingsafety.com:
Texting While Driving Causes:
1. 1,600,000 accidents per year National Safety Council
2. 330,000 injuries per year Harvard Center for Risk Analysis Study
3. 11 teen deaths EVERY DAY Ins. Institute for Hwy Safety Fatality Facts
4. Nearly 25% of ALL car accidents
Texting While Driving Is:
1. About 6 times more likely to cause an accident than driving intoxicated
2. The same as driving after 4 beers National Hwy Transportation Safety Admin.
3. The number one driving distraction reported by teen drivers
Texting While Driving:
1. Makes you 23X more likely to crash National Hwy Transportation Safety Admin.
2. Is the same as driving blind for 5 seconds at a time VA. Tech Transportation Institute
3. Takes place by 800,000 drivers at any given time across the country
4. Slows your brake reaction speed by 18% Human Factors & Ergonomics Society
5. Leads to a 400% increase with eyes off the road
The Governor uses political friendly quips and buzz words to explain himself, which include education rather than regulation is the solution for the increasingly widespread but dangerous practice, and it’s just another government effort to micromanage behavior of adults. Governor, that’s what lawmaking and laws are and are about. Laws are necessary to change the behavior of Texans so those who need changing do not injury or kill other innocent Texans. Texas already has laws that micromanage behavior of adults in cars and trucks, and here are just a few to remind you:
– Prohibiting drinking alcoholic beverages or having open containers cannot be in a car
– Requiring the use of seat belts
– Prohibiting children under 18 years of age from cannot ride in the back of a pick up on streets and highways
– Speed limit and traffic signs
– Driving a car at night without headlights and/or taillights
– Having to have a current registration and inspection sticker
– Requiring front and rear license plates
Governor, Austin and 23 other cities have banned texting while driving. Additionally, 32 states, including Texas, have prohibited novice drivers from using cell phones, and 10 states prohibit the use of cell phones by all drivers. You approved a law restricting texting in school zones. Your friend, the insurance lobby, wants the law to cut down on liability claims.
Just like your failed bid for the republican presidential nomination, you are not in the majority. Legislators and their constituents want this law. Texas needs laws like this to change bad behavior. If you want to call laws that protect Texans from others’ bad driving behaviors micromanaging adult behavior, so be it. It truly is time for you to get off your high, anti-government horse and do something to protect Texans from distracted drivers. Your current anti-law position is nothing more than an outlaw mentality.