Florida drivers may soon be fined if they are caught texting while driving in the state. Legislators in Tallahassee are pushing for a bill to crack down on this dangerous action. But efforts by Florida legislators would make it a secondary offense to text and drive. Florida State Senator Nancy Detert’s proposed bill would require law enforcement to have a primary reason to stop drivers texting behind the wheel. The secondary offense, would cost first time offenders 30 dollars and court costs but is raising questions on the effectiveness of the program.
Gainesville Police Officer Mike Denmark says this proposal would not only be impractical, but also difficult to actually enforce. Florida is currently one of only 11 states that doesn’t ban texting while driving. Florida State Representative Keith Perry says he doesn’t believe the bill is stiff enough, but says we are making progress. A National Highway Traffic Safety study shows drivers are 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash when texting while driving. Federal estimates also show distracted driving contributes to about 5,000 deaths every year.