Safe Texas Agenda
As our state’s economy thrives and our population booms, Texas families and communities face new threats to their physical and financial safety. We call on lawmakers to take steps during the 84th Legislature to help Texans thrive in our Texas economy by adopting a Safe Texas Agenda.
“The freedom to raise a family, build a business, and thrive in the Texas economy is only possible if our citizens’ physical and financial safety is protected,” said Alex Winslow, executive director of the citizen advocacy group Texas Watch. “So, priority one for lawmakers should be to adopt common sense steps to put the safety of Texas families and small business owners first.”
- Prohibit junk “named driver” auto insurance policies: More than a million drivers currently have so-called “named driver” auto policies. These junk policies do not provide meaningful protection for either the policyholder or others on the road. These policies should be prohibited to ensure that all drivers have the coverage they need to responsibly operate a motor vehicle on Texas roadways.
- Ban texting while driving: Distracted driving resulted in more than 500 deaths on Texas roadways in 2013 and caused 1800 serious injuries. Experience in other states and localities shows that drivers change their behavior when bans are implemented and enforced. Lawmakers should adopt a statewide ban on texting while driving — a proposal that will not only save lives, but also reduce insurance costs for businesses and individuals.
- Adopt meaningful chemical safety reforms: The disaster in West, Texas, illustrates the need for common-sense safety reforms like those outlined by the State Fire Marshal to improve building standards for chemical storage facilities. Additionally, facility owners should be required to carry basic liability insurance in an amount sufficient to cover the facility’s risk exposure.
- Strengthen nursing home enforcement and accountability: The problems with substandard and negligent care at Texas nursing homes are well documented. One common sense solution for dealing with the most egregious violators is to adopt a “three-strikes” rule for nursing homes that are found to repeatedly harm residents. Additionally, the legal rights of nursing home residents should be restored and facilities should be required to carry meaningful liability coverage.
- Ride-share insurance requirements: Ride-share services like Uber and Lyft have become a viable alternative to traditional taxis. We applaud the innovation of these services; however, liability coverage provided by a personal auto insurance policy is insufficient to protect drivers, their passengers, and other motorists. As commercial operators, ride-share drivers should be required to obtain meaningful commercial liability insurance to provide coverage in all phases of their operation.
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