Ban on texting while driving heads to Perry's desk - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Ban on texting while driving heads to Perry's desk

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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Sending or reading text messages while driving would be outlawed in Texas under a bill passed by legislature and headed for Gov. Rick Perry's desk.

Lawmakers late Sunday approved the ban on texting while driving as a midnight deadline approached. Drivers caught texting or emailing on their phones can be fined upward of $200.

Republican Rep. Tom Craddick sold the proposal as a public-safety measure, but the bill triggered more than a half-hour of debate on the House floor. Opponents said the bill would amount to criminalizing drivers simply for receiving a text message while driving.

San Antonio and El Paso already have laws forbidding texting while driving, and at least 30 other states have enacted similar statewide bans.