MAYPEARL, ELLIS COUNTY, TEXAS
There have been 768 traffic fatalities in Texas since the beginning of 2013, and many of them were the result of driver inattention such as Texting, checking email and posting updates to Social Media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Currently there is no state law forbidding this actions, and as “Smart Phones” become more prevalent among citizens, more and more drivers are engaging in such activities while driving. A report by the National Safety Council released this year found cell phone use leads to approximately 1.6 million crashes a year. A little over 200,000 of those accidents were caused by texting while driving. The Mayor, City Council, and the Police Department of the City of Maypearl, Texas, are deeply concerned about the numerous occurrences throughout the state whereby this manner of driver inattention is a direct contributor to the growing number of accidents in Texas resulting in serious bodily injury or death, not just to the people doing it but also to other motorists and pedestrians.
With that in mind recently Mayor Pruitt, the City Council and the Maypearl Police Department joined forces in passing a City Ordinance banning the use of wireless devices for any purpose other than making a telephone call while operating a motor vehicle. Maypearl joins 25 other Cities in the D/FW metroplex that have already adopted such an ordinance.
“The primary purpose of the Police Department is ensuring the public’s safety” according to Chief Shannon Bachman. “By enacting this ordinance we hope to both educate drivers of the danger and help prevent accidents caused by driver inattention. Anyone familiar with Maypearl knows the number of curves and hills that run through and around this city, and if you’re not devoting your full attention to driving you can easily wreck out before you even know it.”
Distracted driving is a serious problem and presents a serious threat to public safety, both to the people doing it and to other motorists on the road. By restricting the use of wireless devices by drivers we believe it will help prevent the loss of life and/or injury to the citizens of the City along with the dozens of other motorists who travel through town every day on our roadways. The law only pertains to the driver of the motor vehicle, and only while the vehicle is in motion. If you want to stop and check your email, or send a text please just pull over before doing so. The law does not pertain to other occupants of the motor vehicle as long as they are not distracting the driver while the vehicle is in motion. We hope that all our citizens will join us in helping to make our roads and streets better by obeying the new ordinance and being keeping your attention on your driving. There is a 30 day “grace period” where no citations will be issued for this by our officers. You can still be stopped by an officer, who will give you a warning regarding this though for the safety of both yourself and other drivers. After the 30 days is up a citation will be issued to drivers found violating this ordinance and the fine can be as high as $200. Please, help us keep our community safe, don’t text and drive. #ItCanWait