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Governor Rick Perry Vetoes Texting While Driving Ban

Ben Sklar, Getty Images

Thank you Governor Rick Perry!

Governor Rick Perry has vetoed the controversial ban on texting while driving and I think it was the right thing to do. On the air and on previous blogs, I’ve said many of the same things Governor Rick Perry said about House Bill 242 and it was refreshing to see someone stand up for our rights. Governor Perry understood, when so many other Republicans did not, that this was government overreach and a law that just isn’t needed. Many will disagree with Perry’s decision because it’s an emotional issue for many, but he made the right decision. Here is some of what Governor Perry said about the texting while driving bill according to the Texas Tribune:

“I support measures that make our roads safer for everyone, but House Bill 242 is a government effort to micromanage the behavior of adults. Current law already prohibits drivers under the age of 18 from texting or using a cell phone while driving. I believe there is a distinction between the overreach of House Bill 242 and the government’s legitimate role in establishing laws for teenage drivers who are more easily distracted and laws providing further protection to children in school zones,” Perry said in his veto statement.

I’m not advocating for texting while driving, but instead I’m advocating for enforcing the laws we have on the books. I’ve also been advocating for smaller government and this bill was a total overreach into our lives. Like I’ve said previously, teens are already prohibited from texting while driving, but they still do it anyway. Why? Because the law is almost impossible to enforce and if this new ban would have been signed into law it would have been impossible to enforce as well.

Many folks advocating for the ban said that we must have laws that target reckless actions on the road such as texting while driving. I’ve got good news, we already have a law for that. Why the need for another? What’s next? Should we ban screaming kids from cars? What about eating or putting on makeup? What about banning dogs from cars? All of the previous things can cause a person to become distracted and end up driving recklessly.

At the end of the day, this was a law based solely on emotion. You can’t just govern on emotion, otherwise you come up with bad bills that do nothing to help Texans. Hats off to Governor Rick Perry. His veto of this bill caught me by surprise, but it’s good to see at least one Republican standing up for individual liberty and small government down in Austin.

What do you think? Did Governor Perry make the right decision?

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