A Police Chief, Michael Galvan, was rear-ended by a driver who was texting at the time of the accident. The car accident happened in San Benito, Texas. The Chief was subsequently faced with $6,000 in repairs and had to deal with injuries to his lower back, wrist and shoulder.
Partly in response to this particular incident and the very prevalent unsafe use of mobile devices while driving, San Benito city commissioners gave their approval to an ordinance banning texting while driving. The new ordinance does have a 90-day grace period to allow local residents to get used to the law. However, at the end of the 90-day period, police start enforcing the law and fines may reach up to $500.
While some locals think the ordinance was put in place as a form of punishment and it infringes on their rights, police and the city commissioners insist the law is to prevent unnecessary accidents and deaths. According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), there are more than 100,000 crashes every year caused by distracted drivers.
“Distracted drivers are dangerous,” Galvan said. “You need to keep both hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road and be able to look at your mirrors.”