Doug / 02-12-2009 / Auto Accidents

Text and drive? You Might Get Ticketed in Florida

In an effort to reduce the number of auto accidents in Florida, Rep. Doug Holder, R-Sarasota, has sponsored a bill to make illegal to text while driving.  The dangers associated with texting and driving became apparent to he and his wife last year when several teens died in upstate New York.  Through phone records it was determined that the driver of the car had sent a text just seconds before the accident.

The Holder bill does not make it illegal to use a cell phone for speaking, only texting.  Specifically in the current form it “would prohibit the operation of a moving vehicle while reading, manually writing or typing, or sending messages on electronic wireless communication devices.”

Last month the National Safety Council came out with a recommendation that states pass laws to ban all cell phone use, voice or text.  Among other statistics they reported that

80 percent of crashes are related to driver inattention. There are certain activities that may be more dangerous than talking on a cell phone. However, cell phone use occurs more frequently and for longer durations than other, riskier behaviors. Thus, the #1 source of driver inattention is cell phones. (Virginia Tech 100-car study for NHTSA)

Drivers certainly exhibit other types of behavior that are distraction from driving, but texting while driving has to be right up there with the most dangerous.

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