No Plans For Houston Ban On Texting While Driving

State and local officials are joining forces to convince people to stop texting while driving. But for now — the campaign doesn't have any enforcement in the city of Houston.

As you drive down any of Houston's major freeways this week, you'll spy this message: "2058 deaths this year on Texas roads. Drive safely, text later, it can wait."

It's part of an AT&T safety campaign called "It Can Wait."

Houston Mayor Annise Parker says texting while driving needs to be socially unacceptable:

"We can't wait for legislation. We have to all as citizens come together and send a strong message to our peers that if we're in a car with you, we're going to take the phone away from you if you decide to text while driving. It's a dangerous habit and we personally pledge not to do it."

Parker says she supports a statewide ban on texting and driving.

Last session, the Texas legislature passed a ban but it was vetoed by Governor Rick Perry.

"City of Houston was a strong supporter last legislative session in a statewide ban on texting while driving. We, along with our colleague cities, will be supporting that when the the legislative session starts again."

Texas does have a ban on drivers under the age of 18 texting or using cellphones.

When asked about her position on a local ordinance, Mayor Parker would not say whether she supports a ban just for Houston. Austin and San Antonio have already moved ahead with ordinances against texting and driving.  

Here in the Houston region, Conroe, Galveston, Missouri City and Bellaire also have bans in place.

Bio photo of Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson

Local Host, All Things Considered

Laurie Johnson is the Houston host for All Things Considered at KUHF NPR for Houston. Before taking the anchor chair, she worked as a general assignments reporter at KUHF, starting there as an intern in 2002...