Texas candidates for governor differ on texting and driving ban

04/21/2014 4:54 PM

04/21/2014 4:55 PM

As governor, Attorney General Greg Abbott would not deviate from his predecessor when it comes to opposing a statewide ban on texting while driving.

But Abbott’s position is in stark contrast with his strongest election opponent, state Sen. Wendy Davis, who backed a ban in 2011 along with a bipartisan majority in the Texas Legislature. Gov. Perry vetoed the measure.

State law prohibits minors from texting while driving but imposes no such restriction on adults. And while some localities have passed universal prohibitions on the behavior, Texas is one of just seven states without a statewide ban.

A recent study by Texas A&M Transportation Institute found that 44 percent of drivers 15 and older read or send text messages while driving, and the Texas Department of Transportation reported that distracted driving crashes were up 4 percent in 2013.

Texans seldom welcome new mandates, but the state must take reasonable steps to protect everyone on the road.

This is about common sense. Texas should ban texting while driving.

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