Texting while driving now illegal in Texas - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Texting while driving now illegal in Texas

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Texting while driving is now illegal in the State of Texas. Drivers found to be in violation of the new law are subject to ticket up to $99 for the first offense.

The penalty goes up to $200 for subsequent tickets.

"One in five crashes in Texas is caused by distracted driving," Texas Department of Transportation Executive Director James Bass said in a written statement. "The new law sends a very clear message to Texans to put down their phones and focus on the road."

TxDOT said cell phone use was a factor in 455 deaths and 3,087 serious injuries last year.

Because listening to music and consulting maps on your phone is not a part of this law, police officers say they will have to be sure to pull people over who are actually texting.

"A lot of times when people are texting, it's very obvious what they're doing," said Denison police spokesman Lt. Mike Eppler.

Motorist Judy Stidham said it's about time.

"A few years ago I had a friend who died because somebody was texting," she said. "Look what it does to people every day. I just think that texting and driving should've been made illegal a long time ago."

For drivers under 18, all cell phone use is already banned except during emergencies.

And some Texas cities have enacted even tougher restrictions on distracted driving.

Oklahoma banned texting while driving in 2015.

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