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Video: Austin Commission Pushes for Distracted Driving Regs

February 10, 2014

VIDEO: Austin Commission Pushes for More Distracted Driving Restrictions

The City of Austin’s Public Safety Commission on Feb. 3 voted to ask the City Council to form a task force to explore additional ways to crack down on distracted driving.

The city has an ordinance banning texting while driving but still permits handheld phone conversations. Some city officials and local residents are pushing for a hands-free cell phone ordinance as well as restrictions on driver use of other mobile electronic devices. 

To hear a heart-wrenching account of how dangerous distracted driving can be, city officials needn’t look beyond their own circle of friends and colleagues.

Roger Chan, a former Austin assistant city manager, is one of the citizens pushing for a stricter distracted driving ordinance. On Nov. 23, 2010, Chan was celebrating his 59th birthday. He decided to mark the occasion by volunteering to help prepare Thanksgiving meals for people in need at a local center.

While driving to the Palmer Events Center, Chan suffered a life-changing injury. A distracted driver’s car veered into Chan’s motorcycle and pushed it into a curb. The motorcycle’s front wheel became entangled with the car, dragging Chan down the street before the car finally stopped. Doctors had to amputate one of his legs. He now has a prosthesis leg – and still rides a motorcycle.

Click on the link above to watch KHOU11’s report on the latest efforts to fight distracted driving in Austin.

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