After the Governor vetoed a law banning drivers from using their cell phones behind the wheel, Amarillo passed their own law earlier this week banning the use of hand held cell phones by drivers. It is possible Lubbock may be next. We spoke to Mayor Glen Robertson today about how he plans to give residents the chance to have their say on the issue.
He says "At this point we really just need to open discussions up at the council level open it up to citizens comments, and try to find something. Now I don't like it when the government over imposes itself and tries to protect us from ourselves, but in this case we're protecting ourselves from other drivers. I think it's our job as leaders to at least have the courage to look at the subject."
We also spoke to local residents today about how they would feel if a law, similar to Amarillo's, banning the use of cell phones by drivers would be welcome. We found that some people are not convinced that banning cell phones entirely would be the best choice, although many agreed that texting while driving is dangerous.
Kristin Decker was concerned with how the city would enforce such a law saying "I think it would be difficult to enforce all together. I think there'd be a lot of needless time spent trying to enforce that law that could be spent doing other things." While another Lubbock resident, Alan Curry agreed that there are "a lot more important things that the city has at task."
Mayor Robertson says he has discussed the issue with a few other city council members, and they plan to have the topic on the agenda in the next few months. He feels that if at least one life is saved by this possible new law, it is worth taking the heat from the opposition, especially when it comes to texting while driving.
The overall consensus by the residents we spoke to is that drivers do need to take responsibility behind the wheel to make sure they are not distracted by their phones while behind the wheel. Although they are not sure the government needs to be involved.