AUSTIN, TEXAS – House Bill 1810, which is pending in the Texas state legislature, seeks to increase fines to motorists and truck drivers who are charged with a number of actions cited as "inattentive driving."
Among the potential violations, drivers may be punished for reading or writing, using a computer or performing personal grooming while driving. In addition, using a CB radio or talking on a cell phone would constitute a violation.
The bill also includes many activities that most truckers and motorists consider to be a normal part of driving, such as using a radio or a GPS unit while driving, which would be considered illegal. So would eating, drinking a non-alcoholic beverage and “interacting with a vehicle passenger." In other words, talking with someone could constitute a violation.
Those opposed to the bill said it gives police officers carte blanche to add violation after violation for every traffic stop. Without proper representation in traffic court, truck drivers and motorists could be forced to pay huge fines.
The proposed legislation states that, "An offense under this subtitle is punishable by a fine that is at least twice the minimum fine applicable to the offense and not more than twice the maximum fine that is applicable to the offense."