While Texas legislators wrestle over the merits of a statewide distracted driving ban public interest groups are weighing in, making their support for the ban known. Most recently a group of Texas physicians have weighed in to the debate to make it known they are wholly in favor of a statewide ban on distracted driving.

The Texas Medical Association made it known that their members unanimously support efforts from Texas legislators to pass a statewide ban on distracted driving. The TMA members told members of the media that they recognize distracted driving as a serious threat to public health and safety and therefore support any efforts by legislators to limit the ability of some drivers to engage in this activity.

So far Texas has remained one of just 16 states without a comprehensive statewide ban on distracted driving. State legislators there have repeatedly said the decision of whether or not to allow drivers to use handheld devices was best left to local municipalities. Cities such as Dallas and San Antonio already have such bans in place, but this is not enough for public safety groups in the state who say a patchwork of bans across the state do not go far enough to promote safe driving behavior.

Already legislation is wending its way through the Texas Statehouse which would severely curtail the use of handheld devices by drivers. It is expected this legislation, or some form of it, will pass both houses and go to the governor’s desk later next year. Governor Rick Perry, who has said in the past he did not support a statewide ban, has no indicated that he would indeed sign into law any such legislation which comes across his desk.

This recent announcement from the TMA only further strengthens the position of those in favor a statewide ban in Texas.