Texting while driving: A quick crash course
Texting while driving: A quick crash course
By A’Nassya Bruton, Ciera Campbell and Jalen Williams
Intern students from FAMU
As the month of June completes, Florida motorists are a few months away from the enforcement of the Texting While Driving Bill that Governor Rick Scott signed into law at Alonzo and Tracy Morning High School in Miami-Dade County, Fla.
The bill passed on May 28, 2013, will be put into effect starting on Oct. 1, 2013.
If the Florida driver is texting or emailing while driving, the driver will be fined with a $30 fee in addition to court fees and any other violation costs.
This new rule for the roads of South Florida will get heads turning, mouths talking and more tickets given away than ever.
If you are caught texting you will receive a ticket. But the trick is its only a secondary offense, meams the officer must pull a person over for something else initially then give a person a ticket for the first offense, and then one for texting while driving.
In the case of a car crash that results in death or personal injuries, billing records for cellular devices can be retrieved.
The use of the Global Positioning System(GPS), talk-to-text technology and texting while at a stoplight are the exceptions of the cellular usage bill.
Cell phone towers only cover 11 percent of America in 1995, but by 2010 it covered 93 percent. Having more cell phone coverage is a wonderful thing, but with more freedom comes more responsibility, and some people can’t be trusted.
Texting while driving has become a new epidemic, a trend that has affected tons of people across America. Twenty three percent of car crashes involved cell phone use in 2011.
Thirteen percent of drivers between the ages of 18-20 years have admitted to texting or on the phone while driving when they got into a car accident.
Before the bill was passed multiple Broward Public High Schools offered a Drivers Educational Course for teenagers who are eligible to receive their license or permit. The course reminds students about the safety and responsibility of driving.
Young adults will be the future leaders, it is important that they understand the casualties that will occur when they are texting and driving.
According to State Farm PIO Michal Brower, “distracted driving is a dangerous behavior”. Yes texting is dangerous while driving, but any type of amusement that distracts the driver’s attention from the road harms not only the people in the car but citizens around them.
With the new bill beginning in October, many Florida residents should consider breaking their habit of texting while driving before the new bill will be in effect. The Texting While Driving ban bill hopes to help reduce the amount of car crashes that are caused because the driver is distracted.
Porsha Wilson, 24 year-old mother was involved in a recent car accident because of texting while driving. As a result, the driver’s side mirror was detached and her vehicle crashed into a garbage dumpster. “I was backing out of my driveway while trying to respond to a simple text message and next thing I realized I had crashed into the dumpster.”
Taking your eyes off the road for five seconds if you’re driving at 55 mph is equivalent to driving the length of a football field without paying attention.
Texting or being on the phone while driving is more than a visual distraction it’s a mental one as well. It causes the driver to take their mind off the main task at hand, which is driving. But with 82 percent of Americans between the ages of 16-17 with cell phones, around the same time they are just getting their license, what is a state to do but to make sure these kids don’t text and drive and inform others no to do so?
Well, here’s the solution, according to textinganddrivingsafety.com, “10 states plus D.C. all prohibit drivers from using handheld cell phones. 32 states plus D.C. prohibit novice drivers from cell phone use. 39 states plus D.C. prohibit all drivers from text messaging.”
Texting while driving is coming to an end!
On Oct. 1, 2013 texting while driving in Florida will be against the law. Florida becomes the 41st state to ban texting while driving.
Lawmakers have been attempting to pass this bill for five years. The new House Speaker, Will Weatherford, supported the ban on texting. More than 100,000 crashes a year involve drivers who are texting according to the National Safety Council.
Drivers can continue to use their cell phones only for navigation, weather and to listen to the radio. Also they can use talk-to-text devices.
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, texting has contributed to at least 189 crashes in Florida in 2012.
Measures are definitely being taken to insure the safety and well being of every citizen because texting while driving destroys lives.
Summer interns Ciera Campbell, A’Nassya Bruton and Jalen Williams are all students at Florida A&M University(FAMU) seeking a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations and Broadcast Journalism.