Lawmakers in Austin consider texting, driving ban
By Garrett Willett
At the tender age of 17, Alex Marie Brown changed the lives of her entire family in a split second. Alex lost control of her car on the morning of Nov. 10, 2009, and was ejected from the vehicle, falling to the pavement to meet her death. The cause of this freak and fatal accident: texting and driving.
Alex was one of more than 5,500 individuals who lost their lives because of texting and driving in 2009. In that same year, nearly half a million more people were injured due to texting. According to Edgar Snyder & Associates Law Firm, 25 percent of all accidents are caused by cell phone usage while driving. However, to Alex’s parents, their daughter is more than a number.
Shortly after her death, the Browns founded Buckle Up and Stop Texting, or B.U.S.T. This program was established to educate both the youth and adults about the dangers of texting and driving. In light of this foundation, a new bill has been proposed in the Texas Legislature. House Bill 63, commonly called the Alex Brown Memorial Act, was proposed by Texas Rep. Tom Craddick on Nov. 12. According to the Texas Legislature, the bill reads, “Introduced: Relating to the creation of an offense for use of a handheld wireless communication device for text-based communication while operating a motor vehicle.” In short, Mr. Craddick is attempting to illegalize texting and driving. The Act was to be reviewed before Texas Congress at the 83rd Legislative Session on Jan. 8.
At Karnes City High School, the Q Cast produced a public service announcement, produced by senior Desiree De La Garza and junior Cody Martinez. But students at KCHS believe that the bill will not be very effective at stopping texting and driving.
“I don’t think it’s gonna prevent texting and driving,” senior Nic Adams said. “People are still gonna do it anyway.”
Some believe that it is a matter of personal hardheadedness.
“The bill isn’t going to have a huge impact on drivers,” junior Jesus Moncada said. “People do what they want no matter what.”
With the increased traffic caused by oil-field workers and businesses, the dangers on the road are beginning to hit home.
“Something is always on the news,” sophomore Kali Dragon said. “More and more accidents are beginning to happen around us.”
Karnes City High School senior Garrett Willett is a reporter for the Badger Times school newspaper. The Junior Journalist participates in track and is a member of the National Honor Society, FFA, and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He plans to attend Texas A&M University after high school.