Brownsville City Officials Focus on Banning Texting While Driving

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011 - 8:39am

A number of us think nothing of it, we're multi tasking, but officials say it's a dangerous habit.

We hold a conversation at the tip of our fingers with another person, while operating a massive piece of machinery, our vehicles, alongside a number of other drivers on the roadway.

"I think it's a really good idea because there are a lot of accidents happening when people are distracted texting and driving at the same time." said a Brownsville resident.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says 20 percent of car crashes stem from distractions. Texting while behind the wheel falls near the top of the list.

The city of Brownsville hopes to refocus drivers eyes back on the roads and away from their phone screens by banning texting on the streets of Brownsville.

"We feel a lot of the accidents are occurring when you take initial movement away from a location." said Brownsville City Manager Charlie Cabler.

Meaning, being stopped at a light and then taking off or rolling forward before the light is green. In some cases, this results in very low speed fender benders because the driver's attention was focused elsewhere.

One Brownsville drivers knows exactly what the city is referring to.

Based on personal experience, yes, I guess it's a good idea to be banned, because personally, I myself have almost run into accidents for being guilty of doing that same thing." said an admitted “texter” behind the wheel.

The ordinance only applies to texting, reading or accessing the internet. A driver may still talk on their phone while traveling the streets of Brownsville.

The law could go into effect as early as Wednesday morning, February 16, 2011. A driver caught breaking the law could face up to a $500 fine.

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I think this is a great initiative for the City of Brownsville to make the city roads safer.

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