NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced a special session as well as signing a new law banning texting and driving. The law comes into effect on September 1.
The City of Nacogdoches currently has their own ban in place, which was one of the first in the state of Texas. The law was enacted in 2011. Since July 2015, officers have issued 39 citations and warnings.
"Not really that many," said Sgt. Greg Sowell, a spokesman for the Nacogdoches Police Department. "It's hard to tell, unless you drive up next to someone who you see is just going to town on a keyboard"
The state-wide ban includes fines that could cost up to $99 for first-time offenders and $200 for repeat offenses.
Unlike Nacogdoches, Angelina County doesn't currently have a texting and driving ban. But, the new law will cover this county, as well as all the other counties in Texas.
According to Angelina County Sheriff Greg Sanches recent accidents caused by drivers texting have made the need for a texting and driving ban much greater.
"A lot of times, it may be a tragic event and through education, finally people realize it's not a good thing to do," Sanches said.
Sanches said that asking for help could prevent serious consequences.
"Anytime we're texting, or we're going to text, pull over, or let somebody in your car text for you," Sanches said.
Sowell also provided an alternative to texting while driving.
"What we suggest is if you're going use your phone, use it hands-free otherwise just don't," Sowell said.
According to the recent law, it only covers texting, not other internet use, such as map applications.