For fifth time, lawmakers to decide ban on texting while driving

By Nicole Cobler | Nov. 25, 2016

James Shaffer used to be guilty of looking down at his phone while driving.

He thinks about that now, just months after a distracted driver unlocked her phone and swerved into oncoming traffic, killing his wife and 12-year-old daughter.

“It’s just that you become more aware of it when it hits home,” Shaffer said.

Now, he can’t help but notice dozens of distracted drivers on the road. Since the wreck in April, he’s spent his energy calling on public officials to pass laws that ban texting while driving. He’s started small – testifying at local city council meetings in Denton. But he hopes lawmakers heading back to the Capitol in January will finally pass a statewide ban on texting while driving.

“I think the state of Texas needs to take a hard look at this … and a strict stance on this,” Shaffer said. “It’s not going away. It’s getting worse.”

Drivers know the risks, and in more than 95 Texas counties they live under local cell phone ordinances that ban texting while driving. But the Lone Star State remains one of four states in the country without a statewide ban on the practice.

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