Being a Texan is a source of pride for the state’s residents. Yet, that fact does not mean that living in Texas is an experience that cannot be improved upon. After all, Texas has one of the highest rates of devastating car accidents in the union. As a result, Texas lawmakers are currently considering several measures that would potentially make Texas roads safer and the state an even more enjoyable place to live.
First, various measures aimed at curbing dangerous distracted driving behavior are being considered. One would prohibit texting and other forms of electronic messaging behind the wheel for drivers of all ages. While some opponents are concerned that such a measure would infringe upon the privacy rights of drivers, advocates insist that when individuals infringe upon the rights of others to remain safe, texting privileges must be taken away. Given the prevalence of devastating distracted driving accidents across the state, the passage of this bill may be truly valuable for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.
Second, Texas lawmakers are concerned about the increasing rate of accidents tied to road rage and reckless driving. They are therefore considering a measure that would increase the fines associated with reckless vehicular homicide by ten times. The bill would also require reckless drivers to complete safety education during a period of license suspension.
Third, lawmakers will decide whether to fund a study focused on the link between drowsy driving and highway safety. Finally, they are considering stiffer penalties for first-time drunk driving offenders in the hopes that holding first-time offenders accountable in significant ways will inspire them to avoid repeat offenses.
Movement in the direction of increased motorist safety is expected during this legislative session. No matter how many of these bills pass, hopefully, lawmakers will tackle the issue of road safety in Texas in significant ways.