Bill: Distracted Drivers, Beware

Proposal would end talking, eating, drinking and more on the road

An El Paso legislator has proposed a bill that targeting inattentive drivers.

The bill introduced by state Rep. "Chente" Quintanilla would enhance fines for people caught breaking traffic laws if they are also doing anything distracting like personal grooming, eating, drinking, reading and writing while driving.

The measure would even cover changing the radio station in the car, and drivers talking to their passengers.

Joel Annoni, a self-proclaimed distracted driver, is the kind of motorist the bill is aimed at. 

"Most of the time, I'm on my cell phone," he said. "I text message a lot. I got to talk to friends. I also smoke, so I have a cigarette while I'm on the phone."

Driver Laura Blomquist said she thinks the bill could making the road safer, because "lots of accidents are due to those distractions." But the proposal goes too far, she said.

"You have to talk to your passengers -- especially if you have kids in the car -- so I think that's ridiculous," she said.

Law enforcement officers said they're sure the bill is well-intentioned, but questioned whether it would be enforceable.

"I can talk to you in a car and still keep my eyes on the road, and how are you going to prove I was talking to you?" said Terry Grisham, of the Tarrant County Sheriff's Department.

You can read . ">the bill here in its entirety.

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