DALLAS – A week after Hurst enacted a ban on texting and driving, State Sen. Konni Burton suggested the Tarrant County community and other cities with similar bans might be overreaching the limits of local control.
During an appearance on WFAA’s Inside Texas Politics Sunday morning, Burton said the Hurst ordinance is overreaching.
“We already have a reckless driving law on the books, first of all, so we’ve got it taken care of,” she added.
When asked whether texting and driving bans might be targeted by lawmakers when the state legislature reconvenes next session, Burton said “It could be.”
Hurst is now the ninth community in North Texas to ban texting and driving. Violators in Hurst will get a $500 ticket.
The state legislature has debated making texting and driving illegal across Texas, but those bills have never gotten the support needed in Austin.
“People often tell me that when we complain at the state level that the federal government is imposing on the state that we’re being hypocritical if we say the state has a role over the city. The fact of the matter is we do,” Burton told WFAA. “The federal government was derived from the states. We’re basically equal. But the local subdivisions, including cities and schools, are political subdivisions of the state. So if cities are going to impose on liberties or those kinds of things we have every right to set law to stop them from doing that.”
Lawmakers still have more than three months before they can officially begin filing bills.
Burton said one example legislators might take up is the ride sharing requirements Austin enacted. Uber and Lyft left the city after voters decided to require background checks for drivers.