Midland councilman wants to enhance texting while driving ordinance

Midland councilman wants to enhance texting while driving ordinance

MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - The city of Midland joined 89 other cities throughout the state of Texas last year, adopting a version of the hands free ordinance. But even with the ordinance, people are still, texting and driving.

In the first year of having the ordinance, fatal wrecks caused by distracted driving dropped from more than 20 to just 10. But because of this specific ordinance Midland adopted, it's hard for officers to actually give out tickets.

According to the city, they've only written 10 citations and nine written warnings for texting and driving.

"At this point basically to write a ticket the officer has to be very sure that the person was texting and driving," said city PIO Sara Bustilloz. "So sometimes that can be a little bit difficult, but you know, they've become more aware of it, it's something if they see it, they have a pretty good idea of what's happening. So if they can just get the proof for that, they can just write that ticket."

City councilman J. Ross Lacy said he's happy the current ordinance is already showing results, but that the law needs to evolve to show people just how important an issue this is.

"It's just a bad habit and it takes years upon years to get people to break that habit and to change into a new direction," said Lacy. "Are you going to get 100 percent participation? Absolutely not. People still speed, people still break the law. But if you can get a majority of society to see that we need to have a cultural change to see that cell phones don't need to be the priority when in the vehicle, that's when roads start getting safer."

Lacy said there's still a lot of behind the scene work to be done, but he doesn't expect this new law to begin until next year, if the rest of the council can approve it.

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