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Texas House Passes Bill: El Paso Drivers Still Can’t Use a Cell Phone and Drive

Texting and driving

After a much spirited and heated debate, the Texas House finally passed a bill earlier this week that would ban texting and driving. However, El Paso didn’t go down without a fight, as there was reportedly only a couple of votes standing in the way of overturning the cities ban on all cellphone use while behind the wheel.

Interestingly, the texting bill was drafted by former House Speaker Tom Craddick, who confessed that he actually voted against a bill several years ago mandating that all Texans wear seatbelts. Yet, he admits that after much consideration that he is very sorry he voted against it – just one of the reasons he decided to devise this bill.

A proposed amendment to the ban would have allowed drivers in El Paso to use their cell phones while driving, just not for texting. Instead, an agreement was reached by state representatives of El Paso and Amarillo that  would ultimately serve to lift the ban in Amarillo, but maintain it in El Paso. Currently, Amarillo and El Paso are the only two cities in Texas with across the board cell phone bans in place.

The final texting ban passed 98-47. It now goes before the state Senate where if it is passed in to law, no other cities in Texas will be allowed to pass bands similar to those imposed in El Paso.

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