Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

Latest News

January 27, 2013

Text ban bill reintroduced

Cook signs as joint author of safety legislation

Corsicana — State Rep. Byron Cook (R-Corsicana) is hoping public awareness and sobering statistics will help aid in passage of legislation aimed at curbing a dangerous habit — texting behind the wheel.

Cook is a joint author of House Bill 63, introduced by former House Speaker Tom Craddick in the 83rd Legislature. The bill has the backing of several house members, and similar legislation in the Senate is aimed at helping save lives and make Texas roads and highways safer.

“It’s the most dangerous activity going on in cars and trucks today,” Cook said. “It kills lots of people, both that are (texting) and those that are on the other side of the road, minding their own business.

“I think it’s extremely important.”

The bills would generally make it a crime for Texas drivers to send or read text messages while operating a vehicle. Exceptions for law enforcement or reporting an emergency are written into the proposed legislation.

The problem of “distracted driving” — such as texting while driving — has grown as Texans become more “mobile” with smartphones and the popularity of texting has continued to grow.

“I think it’s in the best interests of public safety,” said Corsicana Police Chief Randy Bratton. Bratton said texting while driving is many times an underlying cause of accidents and traffic violations.

“The trend to texting has grown,” Bratton said. “I think it’s wise of the legislature to adapt to the social media innovations and try to address those accordingly when operating a motor vehicle.”

A study commissioned by the U.S. Department of Transportation found that texting while driving creates a “crash risk” 23 times greater than a “non-distracted” driver.

The same study said sending or receiving a text takes a driver’s eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent-at 55 mph-of driving the length of an entire football field, blind.

A study by the Pew Project found that of all “cell phone-related” tasks, including talking, dialing or reaching for a phone, texting while driving is the most dangerous.

Cook introduced similar legislation in the 2011 legislature that passed both the Texas House and Senate, but was vetoed by Gov. Rick Perry. He’s hopeful the political climate — and public opinion — will result in approval by the governor this year.

“I think the governor has probably heard from a lot of people about how dangerous this is,” Cook said. “Most companies now ban their employees from texting while driving.”

Cook added that a major wireless carrier — AT&T — has launched an extensive awareness campaign discouraging adults and teens from texting while operating a vehicle.

“I think you are seeing much more awareness,” Cook said. “I remember several years ago there was a “push back” over talking on cell phones while in school zones ... and the next session, we got it passed.”

Cook said that he won’t give up the fight to get the bill passed as along as he’s a representative.

“This is a very important piece of legislation that needs to be enacted,” Cook added. “I think we’ll be successful this time.”

 ,  —————

Bob Belcher may be reached by email at bbelcher@corsicanadailysun.com. Want to “Soundoff” on this story? Email: soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com

1
Text Only
Latest News
  • TAMU.jpg Aggie Muster taking place Monday at Cook Center

    Former students of Texas A&M University will assemble in Corsicana on Monday, April 21, for the annual Texas Aggie Muster to honor all Texas Aggies who have passed away within the last year.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • CISD Trustees to meet Monday

    The Corsicana Independent School District Board of Trustees will meet in a regular session at 6 p.m. Monday at the administration building, 601 N. 13th St.

    April 19, 2014

  • Cancer Center Relay 1 Relay for Life fundraiser hits home as O'Neills offer drawing for weekend at guesthouse in Kemah

    Ten bucks. What will it get you these days? Maybe lunch. An eighth of a tank of gas. A pound of bacon. What about a beautiful weekend trip near the Texas coast? While helping an incredible local cause? You bet.

    April 18, 2014 3 Photos

  • Friday morning fire damages home

    A home in the 1700 block of West Ninth Avenue in Corsicana was damaged by an early morning fire Friday.

    April 18, 2014

  • 4-20 West Jump 1.jpg West honors 15 killed in year-ago explosion

    Rev. Terry McElrath heard the deafening boom. The pastor spun around and saw a column of smoke billowing into the sky above his small Texas town. He immediately thought, "Somebody has died tonight."

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-18-14 Campbell Award.jpg Campbell named ‘Texas Aviator of the Year’

    It was quite an honor for Corsicana's “Dr. Dave.” The longtime Corsicana physician, and namesake of C. David Campbell Field at the Corsicana airport was named 2014 Texas Aviator of the Year by the Texas Department of Transportation.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-18-14 Hop 1.jpg Kids at Hop Downtown offer insights into holiday

    The Hop Downtown, sponsored by the Main Street Office and local businesses, was colorful, loud and joyous, with Easter Bunny photos, free eggs, cookies, a bounce house and face painting Thursday afternoon in downtown Corsicana.

    April 17, 2014 3 Photos

  • 4-18-14 Wesley UMC.jpg Two churches set to close

    Two local United Methodist churches are going through the early stages of closing their doors.
    Barry United Methodist Church and Wesley United Methodist Church in north Corsicana are both ending their ministries, according to their respective pastors.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-18-14 NavarroRegional.jpg Baker named hospital ‘Employee of Year’

    Navarro Regional Hospital has named Sandy Baker as 2013 Employee of the Year. This award is the highest honor bestowed on a hospital employee each year. Baker was chosen from among 327 fellow employees for the honor.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Church News for Friday, April 18, 2014

    News and announcements submitted by congregations throughout Navarro County.

    April 17, 2014