Texting While Driving A Dangerous Trend, Studies Say
AUSTIN- Rep. Solomon Ortiz, Jr. announced today that he has filed legislation to keep teen drivers safe by limiting their use of cell phones and other portable devices while driving.
"This legislation will help limit distractions and keep teen drivers focused on the road," Ortiz said. "Teenagers already have enough on their minds as it is."
Ortiz's HB 662 prohibits drivers under age 18 from using a cell phone unless it is with a hands-free device or in the event of an emergency.
A 2007 study conducted by AAA found that 46 percent of 16 and 17-year-olds admitted to texting while driving. Other studies have found the number to be even higher.
"Talking on a cell phone and texting while driving is becoming a dangerous trend," Ortiz said. "The research is clear that using a cell phone or texting greatly increases your risk of being involved in a crash."
Ortiz also stressed the need to continue to educate teenagers about safe driving habits. In 2008, Moody High School received a $5,500 grant from State Farm Insurance to teach students about bad habits like texting while driving.
"Students and educators at Moody High School in my district have taken the lead on this issue," Ortiz said. "We need to support education efforts like this across the state."
Ortiz represents House District 33, which includes part of Nueces County and the City of Corpus Christi. Rep. Ortiz encourages constituents to contact his office on this or any issue of interest at (512) 463-0484, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the House of Representatives website at www.house.state.tx.us.
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