New Bill Aims to Decrease Risks for Distraction-Related Car Accidents in Boca Raton and Elsewhere
Gregg Hollander | December 6, 2011 | Personal Injury
Lawmakers are debating, once again, whether or not texting while driving should be legal in the state of Florida. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, Florida is one of the few states left that has absolutely no laws in place regulating the used of cell phones or text messaging devices for drivers.
The new bill was created was co-sponsored by Florida state Rep. Irv Slosberg, D-Boca Raton. Slosberg is a safe driving advocate whose family suffers from a distraction-related car accident as they lost their daughter in one of these accidents a few years ago.
Before we get our hopes up, distracted driving legislation has been introduced in the Florida legislation for years. Unfortunately, lawmakers have been too busy limiting the rights of fall victims and reducing staffing in nursing homes. No one pays the bills when it comes to distracted driving so the carnage continues.
Many believe that the bill won’t even make its way out of committee, according to The News-Press. The bill failed last year mainly because officials don’t know how well they’ll be able to enforce such regulations and because of the “anti-government regulation atmosphere” in Tallahassee. Until drivers put down the cell phone, distraction-related car accidents in Boca Raton and elsewhere will continue to plague our roadways.
Boca Raton car accident attorneys understand that there are 35 states, Guam and Washington D.C. that have already enacted laws that prohibit drivers from texting. Some counties throughout the state have stopped bus drivers and school employees from texting while driving. Still, these laws aren’t commonly enforced and they only cover a small portion of drivers, doing nearly nothing to solve the big problem.
Car accidents that involved a text-messaging driver took the lives of more than 16,000 people in the U.S. from 2001 to 2007. Another recent study concluded that truck drivers who text while driving face an increase in their risks for an accident by nearly 25 percent.
A recent experiment that was published in Car and Driver Magazine concluded that drivers who text message behind the wheel face greater risks than a driver who is legally drunk.
Slosberg and state Rep. Ray Pilon, R-Sarasota, say that they’re pushing for this type of law in Florida because texting behind the wheel produces deadly results all too often.
“It’s worse than being drunk,” said Slosberg.
State Rep. Kathleen Passidomo, R-Naples, said she supports the bill that Slosberg’s created. She says it all makes sense. This behavior should be regulated because we’re seeing too many of these accidents on our state’s roadways every day.
Under Slosberg’s bill, texting would only be a secondary offense, which means that a driver would have to be pulled over for another infraction first. If a driver is issued a ticket for texting while driving, they would get six points on their license. Remember, if your get at least 12 in one year, then your license will be suspended.
This isn’t the first time that an anti-texting bill has made its way through the legislature. Slosberg just hopes this time will be different and drivers will stop texting and endangering innocent motorists.