The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal reports that the City of Amarillo has banned texting while driving.
Amarillo follows in the footsteps of at least 24 cities to do the same, including Arlington, Austin, El Paso, and San Antonio. Dallas has no ban, nor does Houston. However, in the metro area Bellaire, Conroe, Galveston, Magnolia, Missouri City, Tomball, and West University have all banned the practice.
Last year, the state legislature, in one of their only marks of goodness, passed a bill to ban the practice statewide. Governor Perry vetoed it. As long as Perry is in office, no statewide bill will be passed, so I have come up with an alternative. Dallas and Houston need to get on the wagon and pass municipal ordinances, meanwhile the President should sign an executive order banning text messaging while driving on all federal roads (Interstates and US Highways). If I am not a city and not on the interstate, odds are I am going 30 miles per hour and a one lane road. I think that this solution would be just as good as a statewide ban and perhaps it would not enrage as many rural voters seeing it as a way to micromanage their life.
For what it is worth, I tend to not think there should be a blanket ban on texting while driving per se, just as there shouldn’t be a ban on driving after consuming any alcohol. I think certain things, like texting on the highway or at night, should be banned, but there is no reason to ban my ability to quickly return a message when I am at a stoplight, or swiftly change the song on my iPod. That’s the libertarian streak for me in the month of September.