Bill Text: TX SB25 | 2017 | 85th Legislature 1st Special Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Relating to distracted driving; creating a criminal offense.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 1-0)

Status: (Introduced - Dead) 2017-07-10 - Filed [SB25 Detail]

Download: Texas-2017-SB25-Introduced.html
  85S10241 JXC-F
 
  By: Hall S.B. No. 25
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to distracted driving; creating a criminal offense.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Subchapter B, Chapter 542, Transportation Code,
  is amended by adding Section 542.2034 to read as follows:
         Sec. 542.2034.  LIMITATION ON LOCAL AUTHORITIES' REGULATION
  OF DISTRACTED DRIVING. (a) In this section, "wireless
  communication device" has the meaning assigned by Section 545.425.
         (b)  Except as provided by Subsection (c), a local authority
  may not regulate or prohibit distracted driving, including the use
  of a wireless communication device while operating a motor vehicle.
         (c)  A local authority may enforce the laws of this state
  relating to distracted driving, including Sections 545.424,
  545.425, 545.4251, 545.4252, and 545.4253.
         SECTION 2.  The heading to Section 545.425, Transportation
  Code, as effective September 1, 2017, is amended to read as follows:
         Sec. 545.425.  USE OF WIRELESS COMMUNICATION DEVICE IN A
  SCHOOL CROSSING ZONE OR WHILE OPERATING A SCHOOL BUS WITH A MINOR
  PASSENGER; LOCAL AUTHORITY [POLITICAL SUBDIVISION] SIGN
  REQUIREMENTS; OFFENSE.
         SECTION 3.  Section 545.425(b-1), Transportation Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         (b-1)  A [Except as provided by Subsection (b-2), a]
  municipality, county, or other local authority [political
  subdivision] that enforces this section shall post a sign that
  complies with the standards described by this subsection at the
  entrance to each school crossing zone in the municipality, county,
  or other local authority [political subdivision]. The department
  shall adopt standards that:
               (1)  allow for a sign required to be posted under this
  subsection to be attached to an existing sign at a minimal cost; and
               (2)  require that a sign required to be posted under
  this subsection inform an operator that:
                     (A)  the use of a wireless communication device is
  prohibited in the school crossing zone; and
                     (B)  the operator is subject to a fine if the
  operator uses a wireless communication device in the school
  crossing zone.
         SECTION 4.  Subchapter I, Chapter 545, Transportation Code,
  is amended by adding Section 545.4253 to read as follows:
         Sec. 545.4253.  COLLISION DURING DISTRACTED DRIVING;
  OFFENSE. (a) A person commits an offense if the person causes or is
  at fault in a collision while operating a moving motor vehicle and
  engaging in an activity that:
               (1)  is not related to the operation of the motor
  vehicle; and
               (2)  interferes with the driver's ability to pay
  attention to the road.
         (b)  An offense under this section is:
               (1)  a Class C misdemeanor; or
               (2)  a state jail felony if it is shown on the trial of
  the offense that as a result of the offense, an individual suffered
  serious bodily injury or death.
         SECTION 5.  (a) Sections 545.425(b-2) and 545.4251(j),
  Transportation Code, as effective September 1, 2017, are repealed.
         (b)  Sections 545.425(b-3), (b-4), (d-1), and (f) and
  545.4252(e), Transportation Code, are repealed.
         SECTION 6.  The changes in law made by this Act apply only to
  an offense committed on or after the effective date of this Act.  An
  offense committed before the effective date of this Act is governed
  by the law in effect on the date the offense was committed, and the
  former law is continued in effect for that purpose. For purposes of
  this section, an offense was committed before the effective date of
  this Act if any element of the offense occurred before that date.
         SECTION 7.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2017, if it
  receives a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each
  house, as provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution.
  If this Act does not receive the vote necessary for effect on that
  date, this Act takes effect on the 91st day after the last day of the
  legislative session.
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