In the endless battle to curb the number of accidents caused by texting while driving, Senator Rene Garcia is proposing a bill that he hopes will help. Known as Senate Bill 144, the law would make texting and driving a primary offense for drivers ages 18 years and under. However, some critics of the bill believe it will be ineffective in changing the number of drivers that text and drive.
Texting While Driving Bill Draws Criticism
Those who oppose the bill say that teens aren’t the only drivers that partake in texting while driving. Furthermore, critics think it would be hard for officers to determine a driver’s age before puling them over. Currently, texting while driving is a secondary offense for all drivers in Florida.
Texting While Driving Statistics Remain High
Although generally thought of as both taboo and dangerous, most people have driven distracted at some point or another. In an age of constant communication, people are expected to be available via text, email or phone at all times and many have a hard time ignoring their phone behind the wheel.
A new report from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that young millennials are the worst behaved drivers. Among those offenses, of course, is texting and driving. The study found that within the last 30 days, drivers ages 19-24 were 1.6 times as likely to read a text message or email while driving and nearly twice as likely to type or send a text message or email while driving. However, young drivers aren’t the only offenders.
The same report found that in the last 30 days, the number of drivers who reported speeding, red light running, or texting while driving exceeded 60 percent across all age groups.
- 4 percent of drivers ages 19-24
- 2 percent of drivers ages 25-39
- 2 percent of drivers ages 40-59
- 3 percent of drivers ages 16-18
- 1 percent of drivers ages 76+
- 3 percent of drivers ages 60-74
It remains to be seen if making texting while driving a primary offense in Florida, whether targeting specific age groups or all drivers, would make a difference in deterring drivers from partaking in the dangerous activity. Technology companies are also being pressured to create safety features that will disable distracting apps such as text messaging, Facetime and GPS at certain speeds.
Serious injuries and fatalities resulting from car accidents are devastating and change lives forever. At Panter, Panter, & Sampedro, we are committed to safety and urge drivers not to text and drive. No message is worth your life or someone else’s.
Johnson, T. (2017, February 15). Young Millennials top list of worst behaved drivers | AAA newsRoom. Retrieved February 17, 2017, from Safety, http://newsroom.aaa.com/2017/02/young-millennials-top-list-worst-behaved-drivers/
Media, Nb. (2017, February 7). Bill would increase fines for teens Texting while driving. Retrieved February 17, 2017, from http://nbcmiami.com/news/local/Florida-Legislature-Considering-Increased-Penalties-For-Teens-Texting-While-Driving-413007163.html
New bill would target Florida teen drivers for texting while driving. (2017, February 7). Retrieved February 17, 2017, from Local, http://wftv.com/news/local/new-bill-would-target-florida-teen-drivers-for-texting-while-driving-/491876899