Give your thumbs a rest. No texting while driving…it’s a law now. In case your cable is out and your cell phone fell into the sink, it’s official, House Bill (HB) 62 was signed this month. Effective September 1, drivers may not use a phone to “read, write, or send an electronic messages while operating a motor vehicle unless the vehicle is stopped.” Drivers may use phones while driving for GPS maps and can still send or read texts messages at a stoplight. Texas drivers will be fined $25-$99 for the first offense and up to $200 for repeat offenders.
Gov. Greg Abbott approved HB 62 after proponents of the action tried for nearly a decade to push the bill through the legislature. Former Gov. Rick Perry vetoed the ban in 2011. However, when 13 people on a church bus were killed after a distracted driver hit them, interest in the bill picked up. The driver admitted to checking a text message when the crash occurred.