Ban on texting while driving heads to Perry's desk

May 30, 2011 2:24:11 AM PDT
Sending or reading text messages while driving would be outlawed in Texas under a bill passed by legislature and headed for Gov. Rick Perry's desk.

Lawmakers late Sunday approved the ban on texting while driving as a midnight deadline approached. Drivers caught reading or typing a text message or email in their car can be fined upward of $200.

Republican Rep. Tom Craddick sold the proposal as a public-safety measure, but the bill brought triggered more than a half-hour of debate on the House floor. Opponents said the bill would amount to criminalizing drivers simply for receiving a text message while driving.

San Antonio and El Paso already have laws forbidding texting while driving, and at least 30 other states have enacted similar statewide bans.