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West U to consider a texting-while-driving ban

Last year, the city of West University Place banned using cellphones while in school zones. Now they’re looking to add a texting ban to their roster of no-nos.

West U. City Council has asked city staff members to draft an ordinance banning texting while driving.

A proposed law is likely to appear on the council agenda Oct. 26, City Manager Michael Ross said.

If approved, the law would make West U. one of the first Texas cities to ban text-messaging from behind the wheel of a moving vehicle.

As noted in the story, the city of Austin is considering a ban as well.

The American Civil Liberties Union, however, says legislation is not the answer.

Dotty Griffith, the Austin-based public education coordinator for the ACLU of Texas, said there are already enough laws against unsafe driving.

“There are many things that can distract a driver,” she said. “It could be texting, tuning the radio, eating a hamburger, combing your hair or talking to someone. Are we going to make all those things illegal? Probably not.”

Grits has made similar arguments about about the proposed Austin ban. I understand the argument, but I don’t agree with it. I think it’s reasonable to single out this form of behavior for prohibition. As with West U’s earlier forays into car cellphone management, I’d say a statewide approach would be preferable. Of course, it’s often the municipalities that drive that action in the Lege, so we’ll see how it goes.

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  1. […] first heard about this in September. The ban becomes official next week when they take a final vote on it. West U was out in front of […]