South Plains mother celebrates passage of texting and driving ba - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

South Plains mother celebrates passage of texting and driving ban

Alex Brown (Source: KCBD Video) Alex Brown (Source: KCBD Video)

Governor Greg Abbott signed a bill to ban texting and driving in the state of Texas on Tuesday.

The law will go into effect Sept. 1 of this year.

House Bill 62, also known as the Alex Brown Memorial Act, was spearheaded by a mother right here on the South Plains, after she lost her daughter to texting and driving in 2009.

Jeanne Brown describes the day as surreal.

She says while the signing of this bill has been a fight from the very beginning, she says she's hopeful about the number of lives it will save

"I'm really surprised, I thought it would be a while longer," Brown said.

She said Governor Abbott's signing of House Bill 62 caught her off guard.

"I was like oh my goodness, he really did it! This is awesome!"

A day nearly a decade in the making.

"I go to school, I educate kids, I talk to my own students."

The law, which means a driver will no longer be able to send an electronic message while driving, would be punishable by a fine of up to $99 for first-time offenders and $200 for repeat offenses.

Effective Sept. 1, the Lone Star State will join at least 47 other states that have similar laws.

Brown says she knows there is backlash, but compares the bill's passage to the late '80s.

"It's gonna be a never-ending battle just like the seat-belt law. It took a long time to get everybody wearing seat belts and I know there's still some that probably don't, but most of 'em do. We're just gonna keep on educating and encouraging and make sure people  know that their life is more important than a text message," Brown said.

Brown wants people to understand that this is not an overreach of government.

"I know before this happened with Alex, we would have thought a law wasn't the right choice. But you live life, things happen, you learn from them, and you figure out that you have to change your mind about some things."

Brown says she knows Alex is in a better place, and is proud.

"I think she's very happy, knowing that something good can come of some tragedy like that. We miss her. There's no reason for anyone else to have to deal with that, not when it's so easy, just putting down your phone."

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