Odessa, TX vetoes texting ban
The city council of Odessa had the opportunity of becoming one of the few Texas cities to ban texting while driving. At the end of the public hearing, only one Council member was in favor of such measure.
The proposed ordinance was looking to ban the use of a cell phone to, “view, read, send or compose an electronic message or engage other application software, including but not limited to pictures, Internet use or gaming, while operating a motor vehicle.”
Councilwoman Barbara Graff expressed the feelings of many who disapprove the behavior but do not see how a new legislation would be the right solution.
“I am so totally against driving while texting. I want it stopped,” Graff said. “But I don’t think the ordinance is the answer, because it’s impossible to enforce it, and I’m totally against laws on the books that you can’t enforce.”
After a heated debate, the motion was filed for approval but it received no second, and therefore was rejected.
The Councilman behind the ordinance, James Goates, shared his deception but vowed to bring the issue to the table in a near future.
“You can’t legislate intelligence; it doesn’t take much intelligence to not text and drive,” Goates said. “At the same time, if we can pass an ordinance that gets enough attention to get educated then it’s worth it.”
Source: NewsWest 9, October 25, 2011; Odessa American, October 25, 2011