A city ordinance banning wireless communication while driving, specifically texting and driving, was proposed before the city council on Tuesday.
"I've been police chief here for a little over a year and a half, and our driving habits in this city, frankly, are horrible. It has to do with disrespect. We have to change that," Police Chief Floyd Simpson said.
Simpson began the discussion by reporting that in 2011, nearly 8,400 traffic wrecks were recorded. Thirty-five deaths happened on the streets of Corpus Christi, 14 of which were bicyclists or pedestrians.
"What I wanted to frame this with was felonious crime, crime that appalls people," Simpson said. "In 2011 we had 10 deaths, compared to 35 who died on our roadways. Same thing in 2012."
This opened up a discussion amongst council members, with both Mark Scott and David Loeb admitting their previous guilt of cellphone usage while driving.
"Statistics are important, but there is a human element behind the statistics. It would be my hope that we would never have to write a ticket for this, because the people will understand that it is dangerous and that we shouldn't do it," Loeb said. "This is not something we're doing to try and make money, we're doing it to save lives."
The ordinance unanimously passed after its first reading. The second reading will take place on Oct. 8, and if passed, will be adopted.
Brandon Cobos, resident of northwest Corpus Christi, believes passage of the new ordinance will be good for the community.
"I'm guilty of texting and driving, as most of us are. But I think this will be good for everyone," Cobos said. "If they enforce it, maybe people will stop. I know I will."
Police Chief Simpson is hopeful that the ordinance will pass.
"We had good conversation back and forth about why, and certainly it has to do with public safety. From all indications today, they understand and are approving the initial steps ," Simpson said, "and if they see fit, will adopt this as a new ordinance and move forward with implementing it."