AUSTIN (AP) — Texas Sen. Judith Zaffirini and Rep. Tom Craddick have brought the victims of texting-while-driving accidents to the Capitol to build support for a ban on the practice.
Family members recounted on Tuesday how their loved ones died in traffic accidents because someone was distracted by text messages on their mobile phones.
Craddick, a West Texas Republican, passed a ban in 2011 , calling it an infringement on personal liberty. Thirty-nine states already ban texting while driving.
Victims' families said a person who is texting while driving is twice as likely to cause an accident as someone who is drinking while driving.
Zaffirini, a Laredo Democrat, called on lawmakers to pass the measure again and for Perry to reconsider his veto.
In late 2011, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released a traffic study suggesting that nearly one in every 100 people on U.S. roadways is texting and driving.
National Occupant Protection Use Survey worked with NHTSA by observing nearly 50,000 drivers and their habits, noting that .9 percent of those drivers appeared to be texting while driving in 2010. In 2009, that was closer to .6 percent of drivers.
At least 35 states have a ban on texting while driving. Several Texas cities including Arlington, San Antonio and Austin have their own ordinances banning texting while driving.
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