Itasca, IL – The National Safety Council is saddened by the recent Texas car crash that killed 13 people on a church bus and that the pickup truck driver who caused the preventable crash reportedly was texting. The chilling video footage shows the driver clearly swerving in and out of his lane, nearly hitting other vehicles. It is a sad irony that the crash occurred just days before the start of Distracted Driving Awareness Month, an observance specifically dedicated to ending these preventable deaths.
Texas lawmakers have considered a texting ban multiple times in the last 10 years, and they are debating it again right now with HB62 and SB 31. Texas is one of just four states without this critical, life-saving law. Meanwhile, motor vehicle deaths on the state's roads rose an estimated 7% in 2016; more than 3,700 people were killed, according to NSC estimates. There is no sign of that trend subsiding. This crash should be a wake-up call for any lawmaker holding out on the texting legislation. Strong laws are one of three key components to changing driver behavior, and coupling legislation with education and high-visibility enforcement is proven to work. It is time for Texas to ask itself how many more people it is willing to lose before it acts in the best interest of safety.
About the National Safety Council
Founded in 1913 and chartered by Congress, the National Safety Council is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to eliminate preventable deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy. NSC advances this mission by partnering with businesses, government agencies, elected officials and the public in areas where we can make the most impact – distracted driving, teen driving, workplace safety, prescription drug overdoses and Safe Communities.