AUSTIN (KXAN) - Most Texans think it should be against the law for drivers to send text messages when they are behind the wheel, according to a new report.
A Survey USA/KXAN poll shows 85 percent believe the dangerous distraction should be illegal. Just 8 percent of the people thought it should be legal.
That belief is strong around the country. Forty-one states have bans on texting and driving. But Texas only bans the practice in school zones, for drivers under 18 and for bus drivers who transport children.
Austin has its own ban. But it is one of the few cities in the state that does.
The Texas Transportation Institute says 85 percent of people they surveyed say just talking on a cell phone while driving is dangerous. Still, nearly half of them say they do it anyway.
"I think it's very horrible, and I feel guilty so I stop myself," said driver Laura Villanuva.
The idea of banning the practice statewide sparked a political battle at the Capitol this session.
A bill to do just that failed - again.
The author - state Rep. Tom Craddick, R-Midland - wrote an editorial published Wednesday in the Waco Tribune, saying: "It appeared Chairman Robert Nichols of the Senate Transportation Committee thought he knew better for Texas when he refused to allow even a vote on this bill that would save lives."
Nichols, R-Jacksonville, recently fired back to the Amarillo Globe-News, saying: "It's a lot of pain to put the members through for a likely veto. If it is not going to pass in the Governor's Mansion, why do we need to go through this?"
While Gov. Rick Perry's office has not said what he would have done this time if the bill had passed. Perry did veto similar legislation last session. Though he felt texting while driving was dangerous, he called a ban too much government interference.
The expected winter weather has delayed initial construction work on MoPac until the rain and cold temperatures pass through.
Family and friends held a vigil Wednesday at the State Capitol in hopes that a Bastrop man can win a new trial.
An unusually cold blast of arctic air arriving early this morning will be followed by an increasing chance of freezing drizzle/rain and sleet by Friday morning.
The HealthCare.gov website is working more smoothly for central Texans.
City leaders in West Lake Hills discussed the ongoing concern with the city's water system Wednesday night. The problems arise when water is needed most; fighting fires.
Federal, state and local authorities on Wednesday arrested 15 people and seized 70 firearms in raid on a methamphetamine operation based in Burnet County.