LUBBOCK, TX - It is now illegal to text and drive in the state of Texas. The law creates a misdemeanor offense for anyone who writes, read, or sends a message while driving their car. First time violators could be charged up to $200.
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, 1 in 5 crashes involved driver distraction. A Brownfield teacher and her family fought to pass this law for years after she lost her daughter in a texting and driving accident.
"It's really exciting," said Jeanne Brown. "In fact, when I was driving to school this morning, I was thinking 'Man, this is the first day they're going to be ticketing.'"
The Brown family has been working to get this law passed in state legislature for almost ten years, all in hopes to prevent something like this happening to another family.
"I've been though a lot of hurt in my life and a lot of pain but losing Alex was the hardest thing. I don't want anyone to go through that, there's no reason for it."
Alex Brown was on her way to school while she was texting and driving in 2009. She lost control of her truck and was flung out her passenger window. Jeanne Brown and her family traveled the country with Alex's wrecked car to warns others about the risks.
"I'm hoping that people have heard enough about the dangers of texting and driving that they realize their life is important," Brown said. "That they can't be safe unless they're paying attention to what they're doing."
Brown is glad lawmakers have taken the steps to help prevent senseless deaths on the road.
"We all get one chance. Most of us get one chance to do things the right way," Brown said. "I hope parents are setting the example for their kids. I hope the kids are listening and being safe on the road. There's no reason for someone to die by texting and driving."
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