Texas (KFDA) - An uphill battle to make drivers put down their phones Is picking up momentum. Earlier this week , the Texas House passed a statewide ban on texting while driving.
According to TxDOT, the number of injuries and deaths related to distracted driving continues to rise year after year. In 2014, 468 Texans died from distracted driving, that number jumped to nearly 500 in 2015.
"Distracted driving is always an issue when you get behind the wheel," said Sonja Gross with the TxDOT. "If you take your eyes off the road for a second, danger can be right around the corner. We're not just talking about your personal safety, we're talking about the safety of other drivers on the road and the safety of pedestrians as well."
Many agree it's a problem but will this latest bill make it through all the way?
This is the fourth time a Texas lawmaker has pushed to ban texting while driving. In previous years the effort has either fizzled out or was vetoed. In 2011, the bill passed both chambers, only to be struck down by former Texas Governor Rick Perry, who called it a "A government effort to micromanage the behavior of adults."
"I know how easy it is and how tempting it is to check on your phone but when you're behind the wheel of a car, you're only job is to drive," said Gross.
Laws banning texting while driving are already in place in dozens of Texas cities -- including Amarillo. :Local law enforcement and other agencies think Texas would be better off if there was a statewide ban.
This new texting and driving bill now goes to the Senate for a vote.