In October 2013, Florida became the 41st state to ban texting while driving, when the state’s texting-while-driving ban went into effect. But, after three months under the new law, many critics are asking if the law, which makes texting behind the wheel a secondary offense, is strong enough to deter would-be distracted drivers.
Data regarding the number of texting citations is now available. As Keith Morelli of the Tampa Bay Tribune reports in his article, “Texting-While-Driving Ban Lacks Teeth Critics Say,” only 17 texting citations have been issued in Hillsborough County, which has a population of almost 1.3 million. Further, only about 400 citations have been issued statewide. We here at GDL Institute think that it’s very likely those 400 ticketed drivers are rethinking their decision to drive while distracted, which means there are 400 safer drivers on the road. But, we are also watching the news very closely for any future changes to the law which would give law enforcement officers the opportunity to cite distracted drivers without requiring another reason to stop the driver first. In fact, Florida Sen. Maria Lorts Sachs, of Delray Beach, has introduced a bill in the Senate that would make the texting ban a primary offense.
Read the full Tampa Bay Tribune article here, and let us know what you think! Is Florida’s texting while driving law helping to reduce the number of accidents on area roads and highways?
- Texting-While-Driving Ban Lacks Teeth Critics Say – Tampa Bay Tribune