Families push for statewide ban on texting while driving

By Eva Ruth Moravec
Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Sitting behind pictures of loved ones killed in crashes, 15 Texas families tearfully pleaded with lawmakers to support a statewide texting-while-driving ban.

The scene at the Texas Capitol supported a measure filed for the fourth consecutive session by Democratic Sen. Judith Zaffirini. It would prohibit motorists from using a wireless device to read, write or send a text message while driving unless the vehicle is stopped.

Texas Department of Transportation says 459 people died in 2013 crashes in which a driver was distracted, either by a cell phone or something else.

Since 2009, similar legislation has failed to become law. One passed both chambers in 2011 but was vetoed by former Gov. Rick Perry.

New Gov. Greg Abbott said Tuesday "it's premature" to say whether he'll veto a ban.

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