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City of Abilene looks to state for ban on texting while driving

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ABILENE, Texas - Texas, along with three other states, doesn't have a statewide ban, but the city of Abilene is leaving it up to state legislators to enact one.

A texting while driving ban was brought to the city once before but was turned down.

"No matter how good of a driver you think you are, a split second it takes you to send that text and look down from that screen is all it takes to kill somebody," said Abilene City Manager Robert Hanna.

A texting while driving ban could have prevented a fatal crash just outside Abilene that was caused by a distracted driver. According to a crash report from 2014, Christopher Crane lost his life after he drifted into oncoming traffic and collided with another vehicle on FM 89. The crash report said Crane had several incoming text messages and one at approximately the same time of the crash.

Hanna hopes if the Texas Legislature passes House Bill 62, which bans texting while driving, then drivers will be more cautious.

"My recommendation for council will be to see what happens with legislative session. See if there is a statewide ban from an administrative standpoint. I think that's a much more effective way of doing it," Hanna said.

The Texas House voted to approve HB 62 in March, and the next step is for it to go before the Senate. A similar bill was passed by the House and Senate a few years ago but was vetoed by the governor.

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