Larry Copeland, reporting for USA Today, cites the “anti-government mood” in many states when writing about how fewer and fewer state lawmakers are passing road-safety laws against such behavior as texting while driving, drunk driving and not wearing a seat belt.
Texas is certainly no exception, a state in which the governor once vetoed a statewide texting ban, citing the need for adults not to be “micromanaged” by the government.
If our governor’s veto is a sign of a trend, it appears to be continuing, in that only 10 road-safety laws were passed nationwide in 2012, compared to 22 in 2010, perhaps because the number of auto fatalities had been decreasing for years.
But that might be over.
The biggest bump up in fatalities since 1975 occurred in the first nine months of 2012 as compared to the first nine months of 2011, at 7.1 percent. The lack of new road-safety laws, the “anti-government mood,” and the rise in fatalities were all disturbing enough for the nonprofit organization Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety to issue a ranking report that stacked the states up against one another in road-safety laws.
In its 2013 report, the organization says that Texas needs an all-driver text messaging restriction – not just for teen drivers.