After announcing a few days ago that Houston would do a texting ban in the event that the State Legislature did not successfully pass the bill this session, Mayor Parker seems to have gone in a complete other direction.
Just a few hours ago, the Chron reported that Parker was proposing an ordinance to the City Council TODAY about texting while driving. The ordinance, which the Chronicle incorrectly linked (the real one is –> here), would prohibit texting while driving throughout Texas’ largest city. Again the Chronicle seems to think it is a $500 fine, but the actual text of the ordinance says it is a misdemeanor with a fine “not less than $1.00 nor more than $200.00.” I have no idea if this is a primary or secondary violation (if Cops can pull you over just for allegedly texting), I have no idea how such an offense would relate to one’s insurance or driver’s license points or what not. This ordinance really seems to have come out of nowhere.
Based on the online PDF of the actual ordinance, it was initially proposed by Ed Gonzalez. I don’t know what other members of the City Council think of it, but I would not be very surprised if the final vote was either 16-1 or 16-2 (Brown and maybe Burks being opposed). But, then again, this really came out of nowhere and blindsided me. If this were the Summer or last year, I would have immediately gotten in my car, gone to City Hall and figured out what was going on. However, seeing as that the car ride now would last about four days, that probably isn’t feasible. I will make some phone calls, and tell all (two) of my readers when I find any more news about this.
UPDATE: The Public Safety Committee, which is led by Ed Gonzalez, discussed but DID NOT VOTE on the bill today. No timeline present as to when it will be voted on.