State lawmakers continue to seek statewide ban on texting and driving

Driver in fatal bus crash possibly texting

By Stephanie Serna - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - The driver who caused the crash that left 13 seniors dead a week ago, according to authorities, may have been texting while driving.

Even before the crash, state lawmakers had been working on a bill that would place a statewide ban on texting and driving.

It's against the law to text and drive in San Antonio and other major cities, but not across the state.

RELATED: Witness: Driver admitted to texting while driving before crash that killed 13

Texas is one of only four states without a statewide ban on texting and driving.

Senator Judith Zaffirini, who has worked in the past to pass legislation prohibiting texting while driving in the state, released this statement this week in response to the crash in Uvalde County:

I was saddened deeply last week when I heard that 13 churchgoers from New Braunfels had died in a horrific crash in Uvalde County. I was saddened again, though not surprised, when I learned that the driver who caused the crash may have been texting, especially because this is a tragedy that could have been prevented. There is no excuse for texting and driving, and there is no text that is worth 13 lives, or for that matter, a single life. This will be the fifth session I have authored and tried to pass legislation prohibiting texting while driving in our state, and I hope that we can finally pass Senate Bill 31 this time to prevent the loss of more lives in similar tragedies, which have become all too common. It is well past time for Texas to join the 46 other states that have banned this deadly habit.

Under the statewide ban, people caught texting and driving for the first time would be charged with a misdemeanor and could be fined up to $99. Repeat offenders could pay up to $200 in fines.

RELATED: Texas House again approves texting while driving ban

So far, the ban has passed the Texas House and is awaiting action in the Senate.

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