LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - By Alexis Spears - email
Texting's become the hippest way to communicate. But if you do it behind the wheel, you may want to curb that habit, before it becomes the most expensive "OMG" you've ever typed.
"I don't mind texting, I just need to learn to do it better but I certainly wouldn't do it on the road," said a Tampa resident visiting Lufkin.
Sending or reading text messages while driving would be outlawed in Texas under a bill passed by the legislature. It's now headed to the governor's desk for signature.
"Not to sign it would be ignorant," Donald Crews said.
"I've almost been run over by ladies going down the streets on their cell phones," Bill McCalister of Hudson said.
"I agree to it," Kim Bass said. "I think they should because there's been more wrecks ever since and I think it's a good ideal."
The ban, approved late Sunday night, says, if drivers are caught texting or emailing on their phones they can be fined up to $200.
"Driving and texting, it should be against the law because it is dangerous," Ty Shafer said. "You see people swerving all the time. A lot of young people, they get the rap for it, but you see older people doing it too. It's pretty dangerous."
"Texting and driving definitely is dangerous," said Greg Sanches with the Department of Public Safety. "We've known this for a long time. I mean when you look at a lot of the polls they've taken from the public, they've been really demanding a law to take place."
In 2009, 408 Texans died from distracted driving.
"It's hard to do two things at once so you're using your hands to text, the same time you should be having them on the wheel so that's pretty scary," Brandi Reynolds said.
"This phone right here could cost you your life, could cost you severe injuries or cause you to be arrested because you've hurt or killed someone out there on the road," Sanches said.
Lawmakers hope a fine is a small price to pay when it comes to saving a life.