Are you paying full attention to the road every time that you drive? When it comes to being on the road and being distracted, the state of Florida is attempting to do something about it, although there are obstacles. Florida stopped a texting while driving bill from going through recently that would’ve dealt with texting while driving, changing it over from secondary status over to ‘primary offense’ instead.
Stopping it was mainly motivated by concerns over whether it would inadvertently make profiling based on race even more possible thanks to it giving a seemingly valid reason for cops to pull over people even if they didn’t commit a traffic infraction.
This is an admirable thing to do, and it illustrates precisely why legislation regarding a variety of topics can be so complicated. However, distracted driving remains a leading cause of fatal car accidents. You are just as likely to die from looking at your phone or texting as you would be from other things. Perhaps even more so– that’s how dangerous it is.
Florida law currently does not allow drivers to actively text while driving their motor vehicle. While it’s not at primary offense status, where drivers can be pulled over, breaking this law means that drivers will get an initial first time fine of $30 (at the moment) and zero license points. But for their second offense in a five-year period, and that would come with a $60 fine and moving violation status that comes with ‘some’ points.
The halted law would have kept the structure the same but just made the offense a primary instead of secondary violation. All of April is designated as ‘Distracted Driver’ month. This is a time to recognize the dangers of driving distracted and make a concerted effort to drive with all of your focus on the road if you have not yet established that pattern all of the time.
It’s not about feeling bad; it’s about avoiding causing or being in a devastating auto accident. During just five seconds’ time, a vehicle can travel an incredible amount of distance– far more than you would think and definitely enough to cause a fatality or bad injuries. It’s not worth risking it.
In 2016, Florida had 9% of crashes with fatalities noted as caused by distracted driving. It’s safe to estimate that many more fatal crashes were caused by this but there was no way of proving that or witnesses to make statements one way or the other.
We all are tempted by distractions all of the time. But when driving, it’s important to make it a no-cell-zone. No media or tablets should be distracting us. Texting, calling, typing, and more need to be out of the question in order to avoid the risk of an accident.
With distracted driving causing so much harm, it shouldn’t be surprising that Floridians signed a petition on Change.org that got over 50,000 signatures to make texting and driving a primary violation in the sunshine state. Apps like Waze and more implement safety features to ensure drivers are responsibly using them.
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