State will try again for text ban

SANTA FE (KRQE) — Some state lawmakers said they will push again for a statewide ban on texting while driving in next year's upcoming 60-day legislative session.

Some cities, such as Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Las Cruces and Espanola, already have bans in place.

"I thought it was statewide to be honest," said driver Husayn Binbilal.

New Mexico is one of only eleven states that doesn't outright outlaw texting and driving. Gov. Susana Martinez promises to sign a texting ban bill that hits her desk.

The bill has been introduced for the last three years but never became a law.

"It's just a question of getting the wording right and twisting arms here and there, particularly in rural communities that don't have a lot of traffic or intersections," said Rep. Antonio "Moe" Maestas, D-Albuquerque.

Maestas, who voted for the bill, said some lawmakers think only the state's big cities need a ban. Others said it's too big brother.

"Everybody kind of has a less government attitude. And this is big government, but it's important," said Maestas.

The two leading lawmakers, Rep. Antonio Lujan, D-Las Cruces, and Sen. Lynda Lovejoy, D-Crownpoint. who spearheaded the ban, will not be returning to the Roundhouse, but Maestas said he's confident someone else will push the bill.

Drivers said it's about time.

"We have so many strict DWI laws, we should have one that's for texting while driving," said Niomi Martinez.

The state is considering banning cell phones for state-owned vehicles, which includes talking and texting for government employees.

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New Mexico (change)

New Mexico is located in the southwestern region of the U.S. Inhabited by Native American populations for many centuries, New Mexico has also been part of Imperial Spain, part of Mexico, and a U.S. territory.
Offices & Officials

Governor: Susana Martinez
Lieutenant Governor: John Sanchez
Attorney General: Gary King
Secretary of State: Dianna J. Durán

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