With all the hubbub in Texas over bathroom bills and whatnot, one bill that quietly swooped into place is a statewide ban on texting and driving. It goes into effect on September 1. It’s not hard to see us go from texting ban to deportation from Texas for some unlucky undocumented immigrants.
Gov. Greg Abbott signed the bill but with reservations. At a news conference on June 6, he expressed concerns that a city could usurp the state’s power and make its own local law to override the statewide ban, and his intent to make sure Texas doesn’t turn into a “patchwork quilt” of regulations.
Abbott’s comments, and the bill overall, pose problems on three levels. First, inconsistency. Second, the bill is convoluted and confusing. The third issue raises the biggest concern of all: Police will have the authority to pull drivers over they believe are texting.
The bill banning texting is highly disconcerting in conjunction with Senate Bill 4, which outlaws sanctuary cities and puts any illegal immigrant at risk of being lawfully asked for their papers. Is it a false assumption to see a routine stop start with texting and end with deportation?
Read the entire column “3 biggest problems with the new ban on texting in Texas” online at CultureMap where Rani Cher Monson is a columnist.