Contrary to the movement sweeping across much of the country, Texas Governor Rick Perry recently vetoed legislation that would have banned texting while driving. The Governor claimed that the legislation would have overreached the bounds of what the government’s role in individuals lives should be. He said the bill was aimed at micromanaging the behavior of adults but will this decision affect auto insurance quotes?
Perry recommends increased education
The State of Texas already has laws that ban texting and driving by teenagers, and the Governor felt that was enough. The bill would have extended the law to all drivers, but many local communities, including Austin, already have laws that ban texting messaging while driving within city limits for all individuals. Additionally, the state bans texting while driving in school zones for all drivers.
“The keys to dissuading drivers of all ages from texting while driving are information and education,” Perry said in his veto statement. “I recommend additional education on this issue in driving safety and driver’s education courses, public service ads.”
The bill would have banned reading, writing or sending text messages while driving. Perry said that since current laws ban any type of cell phone use by drivers under the age of 18 that is enough. Since younger individuals are more likely to be distracted these stronger laws are supported by officials across the board.
Other driving bills also rejected
Perry did not single out this bill as the only one he vetoed. There were 22 others that did not receive his final approval but the cell phone bill may have been the most controversial. Another piece of legislation he shot down was a bill that would allow city buses to use expressway shoulders during rush hour traffic.
Perry said that allowing buses to use shoulders, “would leave no emergency lane, confuse drivers as to the purpose of highway shoulders, and endanger motorists, emergency personnel and transit bus passengers.”
The National Conference of State Legislatures has reported that Perry is the first governor to ever veto a bill regarding texting while driving. The first statewide ban on texting while driving was passed in 2007. Since then, 34 states and the District of Columbia have passed legislation that bans texting for all drivers.
Many national supporters of this movement may begin to wonder what effect Perry’s decision will have on the rest of the country.