North Texas Woman on Mission to Get a Bill Prohibiting Texting and Driving - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

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North Texas Woman on Mission to Get a Bill Prohibiting Texting and Driving

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    NEWSLETTERS

    For the fourth time, two Texas lawmakers will try to get a bill prohibiting texting and driving passed. And one North Texas woman is on a mission to get it done. (Published Friday, Jan. 27, 2017)

    You could call it a mission of motion. A North Texas woman is taking a new approach to getting her story out, and it's a story nobody would want to tell.

    "I buried two family members because of one bad habit," said Jennifer Zamora, of Roanoke.

    Zamora has been telling her story to the Texas Legislature over and over. In 2007, her husband of 12 years, Staff Sgt. Javier Zamora, was driving with their daughter, Maxine. He died when they were hit by a distracted driver.

    Session after session, Jennifer and Maxine Zamora started going to Austin to get support for a statewide bill banning texting and driving. But in 2014, Maxine took her own life. Her mother believes she never got over the death of her father.

    Now alone, Jennifer Zamora went back to the legislature in 2015, where again a bill did not pass.

    So last year, she headed got an RV and traveled the country, trying to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving.

    "My message has been accepted more widely by the hundreds of young people and old people than I have met on the street in this last year, than every year that I have gone to the legislative session. And listened to them (lawmakers) tell me how important my message is and how effective my story has been, and then nothing happened," she added.

    Zamora just got back to Texas, and next week, she will again head back to Austin. State Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, and State Rep. Tom Craddick, R-Midland, will file bills for the fourth time to prohibit texting and driving statewide. Once again, Zamora will be there, but this time, she has more help.

    "I have people that I worked with along the road this last year that are actually going to show up. They have not been affected by it, except by my story. And they are like, 'Jennifer, you tell us when to be there. We will be there,'" she said.

    Some arguments against the bill include government overreach. Back in 2011, the bill made it all the way to then-Gov. Rick Perry's desk. He called it a government effort to micromanage the behavior of adults.

    NBC 5 reached out to Gov. Greg Abbott's office, and his press secretary tells us, "Governor Abbott will consider any bill passed by the legislature with the goal of making Texas better."

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