Texas Lawmakers Push for Statewide Texting and Driving Ban | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

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Texas Lawmakers Push for Statewide Texting and Driving Ban

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    April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and a pair of state legislators are pledging to try and get a statewide ban on texting while driving on the books. (Published Monday, April 4, 2016)

    April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and a pair of state legislators are pledging to try and get a statewide ban on texting while driving on the books.

    Texas is one of four states that does not have an all-driver statewide ban on texting and driving.

    Last session, State Rep. Tom Craddick, R-Midland, sponsored a bill to ban texting and driving. It passed the House. Meanwhile, State Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, sponsored a similar bill, but the measure didn't get to the Senate floor.

    NBC 5 contacted staff for both of the lawmakers, who say they will try again in the upcoming session.

    North Texas resident Jennifer Zamora tries to spread awareness every day about the dangers of texting and driving. In 2007, her husband of 12 years was driving with her daughter Maxine when their vehicle was hit by a distracted driver. He died, and Maxine survived.

    "To lose Javier after he survived a combat tour in Iraq, to lose him on a U.S. highway," said Zamora.

    In 2009, Zamora and Maxine began traveling to Austin to try and get support for a bill that bans texting and driving. They got close in 2012, when a bill got to the governor's desk but ultimately vetoed.

    Then-Gov. Rick Perry said the legislation was an overreach and an effort to micromanage adults' behavior.

    Zamora vowed to go back for the 2014 session, but Maxine was not with her. Zamora said Maxine never got past the pain of losing her father, and took her own life in 2014.

    "It was too much for her," said Zamora.

    Zamora said this is not a journey she would wish on anyone, but it has consumed her life now. She will keep pushing for distracted driving laws, and will once again head to Austin for the next legislative session.

    "The frustration is that it is Texas, and Texas values its independence and freedom. And I get that. It is one of the reasons I love Texas, but it's also the biggest hurdle to get to a safer place on our roadways. And I'm not asking for people to give up their freedoms, I'm asking them to make safety first," she said.

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