Florida is one of only five states in the nation that has not made texting while driving a primary offense. This means police officers cannot pull over drivers simply because they saw them using their phones behind the wheel. One lawmaker wants to change that.
State Representative Emily Slosberg sent a letter this summer to Nassau County commissioners, asking the county to pass a resolution supporting legislation that would turn texting and driving into a primary offense.
Rep. Slosberg has a personal connection to vehicle safety. When she was 14 years old, she suffered a broken pelvis and a broken leg in a car accident that also claimed the life of her sister. Her focus has long been on making roads safer for Floridians. Considering the state is lagging the rest of the nation when it comes to protecting people on the road from distracted drivers, legislation on texting while driving seems like a good place to start.
Information from the state
According to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle database, there were more than 1,400 citations for texting while driving issued across the state in 2016. However, because it is only a secondary offense, these citations were only issued to drivers who had been pulled over for a different reason.
Fatalities in Florida increased by 18 percent from 2014 to 2015 — and teen deaths increased almost 30 percent in that same time. While young drivers are especially likely to engage in texting while driving, it is a problem across all age groups.
To learn more about the various legal options if you have been injured in an accident caused by a negligent driver, speak with an experienced Bradenton personal injury lawyer at Shapiro, Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez & Walsh.