On Tuesday, December 13, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued a recommendation calling for the first-ever nationwide ban on the use of personal electronic devices while driving. To read the NTSB press release and view a synopsis of the report, please visit: http://www.ntsb.gov/news/2011/111213.html

Below are resources for learning more about this issue.

Texas laws and legislation:
The following Texas laws relate to the use of a wireless communication device while operating a motor vehicle. Currently, no statewide ban on texting while driving exists in Texas.

Transportation Code § 545.424 Operation of a Vehicle by Person Under 18 years of Age
Transportation Code § 545.425 Use of Wireless Communication Device
Education Code Ch. 1001 Driver and Safety Education

Relevant bills that passed the 82nd Legislature (2011) are below. To find all introduced legislation on this topic, as well as legislation from previous sessions, you may do a subject search in Texas Legislature Online on the subjects EMAIL & ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS (S0321) and Vehicles & Traffic--Rules of the Road (I0860) combined.

HB 242: Relating to the enforcement of public safety, including the privileges and duties of certain types of law enforcement officers.
Vetoed by the Governor on June 17, 2011.

HB 1899: Relating to the posting of signs in school crossing zones regarding the prohibited use of a wireless communication device while operating a motor vehicle.

HB 2466: Relating to the licensing and operation of motor vehicles by minors.

SB 1330: Relating to driving safety courses for individuals younger than 25 years of age receiving deferred disposition for certain traffic offenses.

50-State surveys:
The National Conference of State Legislatures has compiled a chart, "Cell Phone Use and Texting While Driving Laws." The chart covers cell phone and texting bans, and whether crash data is collected by the state related to cell phone use or texting while driving. (Updated December 2011)

The Governors Highway Safety Association provides a chart, "Cell Phone and Texting Laws," outlining all state cell phone and text messaging laws that affect drivers. A brief overview summarizing which states have enacted various laws on the issue precedes the chart. (Updated December 2011)

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety incorporates maps into the chart, "Cellphone and texting laws." The maps illustrate handheld bans, young driver bans, bus driver bans, and texting bans. (Updated December 2011)

Research studies:

Driver Electronic Device Use in 2010, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, December 2011
 
 
Distracted driving: what research shows and what states can do, Governors Highway Safety Association, July 2011
 
National Phone Survey on Distracted Driving Attitudes and Behaviors, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, December 2011
 
Texas traffic safety culture survey, Texas Transportation Institute, November 2010
 
2010 Traffic Safety Culture Index, AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, October 2010
 
Texting Laws and Collision Claim Frequencies, Highway Loss Data Institute, September 2010
 
Status Report special issue: phoning while driving, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, February 27, 2010
 
Understanding the Distracted Brain, National Safety Council, March 2010
 
Websites:
 
Official U.S. Government Website for Distracted Driving, National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.
 
Q & A: Cellphones and Driving (includes reports, articles, and testimony) Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
 
Distraction National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Distracted Driving
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention