Some Houstonians calling for statewide ban on texting and driving

AUSTIN, TX (KTRK) -- The fight to enact a statewide ban on texting and driving in Texas is getting new life.

Today in Austin, proponents of the measure, including some Houstonians, plan to testify before a House Committee on Transportation. They want to see House Bill 80, the Alex Brown Memorial Act, become law.

The bill is named for a west Texas teenager killed in a crash caused by distracted driving.

Houston police officer Don Egdorf said he's seen the consequences of distracted driving on city streets far too often. Egdorf recalled one crash where a driver killed still had a phone in their hand.

"We know it's a danger. It's something we have to stop. We know it happens a lot," said Egdorf. "Just saying don't use your phone isn't working. We have to give people paper reminders about why they're not going to use their phone or why they shouldn't use their phones in their car."

Egdorf plans to testify in favor of House Bill 80.

Also planning to throw their support by the measure is trauma manager Robin Garza with Ben Taub Hospital. Garza said people need to realize just how dangerous texting and driving can be while behind the wheel.

"The injuries are staggering and these are preventable injuries," said Garza. "This is not an accident. This is a chosen behavior that is totally and completely preventable."

If the measure gains approval both in the State House and Senate, it's unclear if it will be signed by Governor Greg Abbott. In the past, Abbott said he didn't want to micromanage adult behavior.

The same stance led former Governor Rick Perry to veto the measure in 2011.
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