Chad’s Morning Brief: Lubbock City Council to Ban Texting While Driving? Texas Leading in Privacy & More
Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of May 30, 2013. Give me your feedback below and tune in to The Chad Hasty Show for these and many more topics from 8:30 to 11am.
1. City Council to Ban Texting? (link)
According to reports from EverythingLubbock.com, Mayor Glen Robertson supports a city ban on texting while driving. Councilman Jim Gerlt first brought up the potential ban months ago.
"It is back in our lap now and we're going to have to make a decision," Mayor Robertson said.
It is up to Mayor Glen Robertson and the city council to decide whereLubbock stands on texting and driving.
"There is a lot of controversy regarding texting," Robertson said. "I have no issue with it I think it's been proven that it can save lives."
The bill made it to the Governor's desk in 2011 but was vetoed by Governor Perry.
"I don't understand and don't know the governor's reasoning and I'm sure not going to try and speak for him," the Mayor said.
This year the bill passed the House of Representatives in April but failed to make it through the Senate.
Now it is up to each city to make their own rules.
"Well you know it was brought up this last year by councilman Gerlt," Mayor Robertson said. "He is extremely passionate about it and would like to see some form of at least a texting ban in Lubbock."
Mayor Robertson said if brought up by the city council he would support a ban on texting and driving in Lubbock.
But he said making the changes won't be easy.
"It'd be expensive," Mayor Robertson said. "We're going to have to post signs at all entrances of Lubbock. We'll have some problems enforcing it but no bigger problems than we had enforcing seatbelts."
There are already laws on the books regarding reckless driving and banning those under the age of 18 from using a cell phone (talking or texting) while driving. Why must we have another feel-good ordinance on the books? Numerous agencies around the U.S. say that these laws are tough to enforce. One study actually points out that bans on texting while driving have caused accidents to increase.
Let's enforce what we have and educate the public. Governor Perry didn't want to touch the issue, why does this council?
2. Texas Could Lead on Electronic Privacy (link)
All Texans should appreciate news like this. Texas could become the national leader in electronic privacy if Governor Perry signs a bill currently on his desk.
Despite having lost his bid for the presidency, Texas Governor Rick Perry now finds himself again in a position of (potential) national leadership. On the way to his desk is a bill that would put Texas far ahead of the rest of the country when it comes to protecting consumers' electronic privacy.
Unless Perry takes action to veto it, the legislation would fix a legal loophole that currently lets law enforcement seize opened emails (or unopened emails older than 180 days) with little more than an administrative subpoena. Under the new law, which passed the state House on Monday and the state Senate on Tuesday, investigators would need to get a search warrant before asking businesses to hand over consumer records.
The bill mirrors reforms that have been floated in the U.S. Senate, and as Ars Technica's Cyrus Farivar first noted, letting it become law could put pressure on Congress to fast-track updates to the federal Electronic Communications Privacy Act, a 27-year-old statute. ECPA reforms recently made their way out of the Senate Judiciary Committee and are waiting for a floor vote. The Department of Justice has also given its approval to the rule change on emails.
The Texas bill can't override ECPA; it can only change the way the state deals with lower-level cases. But it would set a high-profile example.
What HB 2268 didn't include, however, was an even more ambitious idea to require a warrant for cell-phone geolocation data.
Scott Henson is a legal analyst who lobbied for HB 2268 on behalf of the Texas Electronic Privacy Coalition. He told me that a companion bill in the state Senate, SB 1052, actually did incorporate the rule on geolocation data as a set of amendments. But the Texas lawmaker who'd shepherded HB 2268 through the House objected to the amendments in the face of stiff opposition from law enforcement.
What Texas needs to do now is pass a law stating that a police officer must obtain a warrant to search your phone.
3. Texas Tech-Arkansas (link)
Kudos to Texas Tech for this agreement between Texas Tech and Arkansas Football. Tech and Arkansas will play each other in 2014 and 2015 and the first game will be here in Lubbock. Now if Tech officials would wise up and get the Baylor game out of Dallas, it would be perfect.
Texas Tech football will begin a two-game series next year.
According to Texas Tech Athletics, The Red Raiders and Razorbacks will begin the series on September 13th, 2014 at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock, and will conclude it in Fayetteville, Arkansas on September 19th, 2015.
Texas Tech and Arkansas last played in 1991 during the Razorbacks’ final season in the Southwest Conference. Tech beat Arkansas 38 to 21 at Jones AT&T Stadium.
The Razorbacks moved to the SEC the next year.
“Texas Tech and Arkansas had many memorable game while conference foes in the Southwest Conference, so this should be very exciting for the fans,” said Tech Director of Athletics Kirby Hocutt.
Hocutt continued, saying “We feel like we will be placing ourselves in great position as we kickoff the College Football Playoff era in 2014, with a non-conference opponent the caliber of Arkansas and a challenging Big 12 schedule.”
What do you think about the move?
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