Rep. Tom Craddick and Sen. Judith Zaffirini, authors of House Bill 63 and Senate Bill 28, on Tuesday at the Texas Capitol hosted families affected by the loss of a loved one because of a distracted driving accident.
Two of those 11 families — John and Shannon Teague and Brenda Dunn — were from Odessa, according to a release from Craddick’s office. The Teagues lost their 22-year-old son, Dustin Teague, and Dunn lost her granddaughter, Kayleigh Dunn, 17.
"It was my honor to host the families with Sen. Zaffirini as they visited their capitol and shared their tragic stories with lawmakers. These families, like Johnny Mac and Jeanne Brown, who have lost a loved one, know all too well the dangers of texting while driving," Craddick said in the release. "If passed this session, HB 63 will provide a uniform statewide approach to curb this unsafe practice and will go a long way in helping educate drivers on the dangers posed by texting while driving and save lives."
Senate Bill 28 and House Bill 63 are named in honor of Alex Brown. Wellman residents, Jeanne and Johnny Mac Brown lost their daughter, Alex, in a single car accident as she drove to school during her senior year in high school. Alex lost her life to texting while driving.
Families met with their state representative and state senator before sharing their story at a legislative briefing.
"The Texas Legislature has a responsibility to give our law enforcement officers the tools they need to make our roadways safer. It is time for Texas to join the other 39 states and the District of Columbia to ban this dangerous behavior for all drivers," Craddick said. "I appreciate all of the interest groups who came out to offer their support for this effort. It is my hope that lawmakers can pass this bi-partisan supported legislation during the upcoming legislative session in order to make our roads safer."
As the House adjourned on Tuesday, House Bill 63 enjoyed 13 new co-authors.