Texas is only one in four states that doesn't have a statewide texting ban in place. But that soon may change as the house and senate passed a texting ban bill, a move many are calling bittersweet.
Steven Abrams is one of many who were advocating for House Bill 62 and said hours before it passed the senate floor he was in Austin talking to lawmakers. “I was going through the whole list of the no-voters.” Making his way back home to San Antonio he watched from afar as all his hard work paid off.
The news the bill passed was bittersweet.
“We are never going to get our loved ones back. It was very emotional.”
Abrams said he became an advocate for banning texting and driving after his grandson was hit and killed by a distracted driver within feet of his own house waiting on the sidewalk for the ice cream man.
Brandon Abrams was just 6-years-old. “There's a lot of pain everyday, it's not just after the accident or you put the person to rest, it affects people's lives,” Abrams said.
Rep. Tom Craddick said it's people like Steven that helped HB-62 pass the house and the senate.
“We really owe the victory to them not use because they really did a great job on it. They kept coming back and coming back and testifying on the bill and explaining problems and working members of the house and senate.” Rep. Craddick has tried for four years now to get a statewide texting ban in place, in 2011 it made it to the governor's desk but it was vetoed by then Governor Rick Perry.
Other years it was able to get through the house but not the senate. “We are obviously elated, we think it's going to make a big difference for the state,” he said.
Rep. Craddick and the advocates for the bill said they do think it will make a difference and help save lives.
“We have more and more cars on the highway everyday and I just think it's needed, obviously seat belts work and I think this will work too,” Rep. Craddick said.
The bill now heads to Governor Abbott's desk.
Rep. Craddick said the governor told him a few months back if it made it to his desk, he would sign it.