Jags at the Capitol

The 85th Texas Legislative Session is in full swing and the Johnson HS PTSA Smart Driving Club was back again in Austin to do their part to help advocate for the passage of a state wide law to ban texting and driving. 


The Smart Driving Club was asked by the office of Representative Craddick to be part of Advocate Day at the State Capitol February 2. Representative Craddick and others are introducing a bill to pass a state-wide law to ban texting and driving.


The JHS PTSA Smart Driving club engages their Jaguar campus and community to help educate and remind people about the dangers of distracted driving.  Students in the club work with the Texas Department of Transportation, the San Antonio Police Department, San Antonio City Council and others to get out the message of safe driving.  Members of the club believe drivers should have their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel at all times while driving. This belief was on the agenda for the visit to the State Capitol February 2.


“Young drivers deserve the right to be safe behind the wheel. We need to know we can head to school, head to work or head home and trust that drivers aren’t driving distracted.  We need to know our city and state representatives care enough about our future and the future of others to push for measures to keep us safe”, said Niklas Siebert, Smart Driving Club President.


Members of the Johnson HS PTSA Smart Driving Club were invited to the State Capitol to help advocate for safe driving and the passage of House Bill 62 and Senate Bill 31.  


Senior and junior Jaguar students then spent the day asking for help with their mission, walking the halls of the Capitol, seeking meetings with Senior and Freshman Representatives and Senators.  Students stopped by offices and spent time with elected officials encouraging them to sign on to the bill and become co-authors in support of the proposed state law.  Freshman Representatives Uresti, Gervin-Hawkins and Minjarez met with club students and lent their support to the clubs’ mission and to House Bill 62. Representative Larson spoke with students, sharing a personal story about family loss due to texting and driving.


Texas is one of the four states left which does not have a state-wide law to ban texting and driving. House Bill 62 and Senate Bill 31 would make using a phone while driving a misdemeanor offense, punishable by a fine ranging from $25 to $99 with penalties up to $200 for repeat offenders. 


Photo by Melinda Cox