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Could a Texting While Driving Ban Come to the Tall City?

The number of traffic accidents is on the rise in Midland as more and more people move into the Tall City. But one thing that's adding to the chaos is texting while driving. City leaders in Midland say they want to take a stand against texting while driving, but they also say a texting ban may not solve every problem. Jenne Anderson reports.
MIDLAND -- Austin Collins knows first-hand what it feels like to lose someone to texting while driving.

"He was texting and driving on the Interstate and an 18-wheeler was getting into his lane and hit him, and put him into the guardrail, and crushed his car," said Collins."
   
Collins says this incident is one of the reasons why he doesn't have any patience for texting while driving here in the Tall City.

"I don't like it; I don't want to deal with it," stated Collins. "I don't think anyone around here wants to deal with texting while driving. It's harmful."

But despite Collins' view, Midland city leaders say they're noticing a growing problem on our roadways.

"It's becoming more and more normal to see people driving down the road texting or checking their emails or whatever," said Midland Mayor Wes Perry.

A texting while driving ban was suggested at the Midland City council several months ago and turned down. Councilman Michael Trost says that's because a texting ban would only address part of the problem. He says the city needs something put in place that will stop distracted driving all together.

"if you're going to address one single issue, why waste your time?" said Councilman Trost. "Do the whole thing. Distracted driving, lump some things together, then let's take a good hard look at it."
 
Mayor Perry agrees.

He thinks it's more important to educate Midlanders on why it's necessary to abstain from distracted driving.

"To say that we will never do it is not the case," said Mayor Perry. "But I think today we've got to educate people that if you're texting while driving or distracted while driving you can cause an accident to yourself or to somebody else. That's a big deal."

Even though a texting ban isn't in the works right now, city leaders say it could be coming in the near future.

Which is exactly what Collins wants to hear.

"There's always that chance of someone getting hurt, and I don't like it," said Collins.

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