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Tuesday, 07 June 2011 15:54

Texas Loops Emails, IMs in With New Ban on Texting While Driving

Texas is set to join numerous other states across the country that have begun cracking down on texting while driving.

The Texas House of Representatives has taken action to reduce the number of accidents relating to distractions caused not only by texting, but by sending instant messages and emails while driving.

The Texas House approved a bill on June 4 that will place a ban on sending and receiving texts, emails and IMs (instant messages) while driving. This bill is one of the first to deal with the barrage of other distracting actions available on cellphones that have become more popular with recent technological advancements.

Many Texas cities already have their own ordinances banning texting and cellphone usage, such as Austin, El Paso, Dallas and San Antonio.

However, according to Gainesville Police Department Public Information Officer Belva McClinton, the city of Gainesville does not have any ordinances of this nature.

If Texas Gov. Rick Perry signs the bill into law, it will not take effect until the first of September.

If a bill such as this passes changing the law, McClinton says, “(Gainesville police) usually warn people for a while before issuing citations because some people don’t read or watch the news,” according to the Oklahoman.

Gainesville residents had mixed emotions about the bill, ranging from reprieval to cautious scolding, according to reports made by the Oklahoman.

Two new Texas distracted driving laws are already in effect, according to the Texas House. One bans teen drivers from using cellphones and the other prohibits drivers from using handheld cellphones in school crossing zones.

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