Texting While Driving

First posted on ChalakiLaw.com

“A clear law that has the power of the enforcement can give Texas businesses the ammunition they need to protect their bottom line from the liability of texting while driving” — Todd Clement

Starting today, September 1, 2017, you will receive a citation for texting while driving within the state of Texas. The citations will be punishable by a fine of $25-99 for first-time offenders, and $100-200 for repeat offenders. There will be no points assigned. The new law only addresses “reading, writing, or sending electronic messages” via a “wireless communication device.” It is still legal for motorists in most cities to use their phone for GPS navigation, music apps, browsing the internet, dialing phone numbers, etc., but drivers may still get pulled over if an officer suspects them of texting.

In the Dallas News interview, The Dallas Police Association’s legislative chair, Frederick Frazier, said the law would most likely be used as a tool rather than have police actively searching for violators of the law. Although he supports the measure, Frazier said the Dallas Police Department’s officer shortage won’t allow it to focus all its efforts on something “minor.”

“This is something for our traffic division, but our traffic division is very watered down,” Frazier said. “Our department is so low on manpower that everything is shifted to 911 calls.”

Furthermore, the new law also states that if an accident caused by texting and driving results in the death or serious bodily injury of another person, the driver can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed $4,000 and confinement in jail for a term not to exceed one year.

Chalaki Law firm has always been a long-time advocate against texting and driving. Recently all of us were devastated by the death of 13 passengers in a church bus who were killed by a truck driver that was texting and driving. In 2016, there were 109,658 traffic crashes in Texas alone that involved distracted driving, leading to over 3,000 serious injuries and at least 455 fatalities. Over the years of practicing personal injury law in Texas, we often see cases of individuals who were severely injured or who have died because a negligent driver was texting and driving. Texting and driving is a distraction and also slows your reaction time. This law will save lives, money and improve our society.

Our firm is available to answer any of your questions regarding personal injuries. If you have been a victim of texting and driving in Texas, contact our experienced Personal Injury Attorneys to get an initial Free Case Evaluation. Stay safe, stay strong, be a good Texan.