North Texas Cities Will Wait to Pass Judgment on State's New Texting While Driving Law

Supporters of a new Texas law that will ban texting while driving say it will help make the state's roadways safer.And while most North Texas law enforcement officials would agree with that assessment, some say the law — which takes effect Sept. 1 — may be difficult to enforce.The Dallas Police Association's legislative chair, Frederick Frazier, said the law would most likely be used as a tool rather than have police actively searching for violators of the law. Although he supports the measure, Frazier said the Dallas Police Department's officer shortage won't allow it to focus all its efforts on something "minor.""This is something for our traffic division, but our traffic division is very watered down," Frazier said. "Our department is so low on manpower that everything is shifted to 911 calls." Last year, 455 people were killed and more than 3,000 seriously injured in accidents caused by distracted driving, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.Texas joined 46 other states and the District of Columbia on Tuesday when Gov. Greg Abbott signed the law that bans motorists from texting throughout the state. The law prevents drivers from texting while their cars are moving. First-time violators could face a misdemeanor charge and a fine between $25 and $99. Repeat offenders could receive a penalty up to $200.   Continue reading...

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