Florida Unlikely to Follow Fed Ban on Texting
Florida cannot continue to allow drivers of all ages to use cell phones and text message while driving a vehicle. That is the message federal safety investigators issued December 13 in asking that all states ban cell phone use while behind the wheel with the exception of emergencies. The National Transportation Safety Board reports the distraction from cell phones too often proves fatal for drivers and pedestrians.
Florida’s 2012 legislative session formally begins on January 10 and expect a repetition of what’s transpired for the last 10 years. Since 2002, there has been at least one bill introduced from both parties every year to prohibit minors from using hand-held devices behind the wheel. None of the legislation has passed. Already two bills are ready to go for the next session, but the Palm Beach Post reports don’t expect must difference next year.
Florida House Speak Dean Cannon, (R-Winter Park), tells the Post that fixing your tie is as distracting as texting and therefore he is reluctant to introduce “one more layer of prohibitive behavior.”
Farah & Farah’s cell phone car crash lawyers in Florida know that the state is trailing about 35 other states that have some sort of ban on text messaging while operating a motor vehicle. At least 30 states ban young drivers and 10 states have a blanket ban on using any hand-held phone by drivers.
In a survey, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found two of every 10 drivers say they have texted while driving. And while texting behind the wheel is not always considered a cause of a crash on a traffic accident report, at least 3,092 people died in 2010 from distracted driver crashes, many of whom were on the phone, according to the NHTSA.
With the AAA Auto Club finding that 87 percent of the driving public wants our elected officials to support a ban on texting or cell phone use while driving, it will be interesting to see if Florida listens and catches up with the rest of the country to send a strong message to drivers that texting and talking while driving won’t be tolerated.