Effort to toughen Florida's distracted driving laws

Last updated: 11-29-2020

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Effort to toughen Florida's distracted driving laws

Effort to toughen Florida's distracted driving laws
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Updated: 11:25 PM EST Nov 25, 2020
Effort to toughen Florida's distracted driving laws
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Updated: 11:25 PM EST Nov 25, 2020
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MARK: 400,000 INJURIES FROM DISTRACTED DRIVING IN JUST ONE YEAR ACCORDING TO THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION. FLORIDA RECENTLY BANNED TEXTING WHILE DRIVING. NOW, A LOCAL LAWMAKER IS GOING FULL SPEED AHEAD TO MAKE IT ILLEGAL TO HAVE YOUR PHONE IN YOUR HAND WHEN BEHIND THE WHEEL. THE CRASHES MAKE YOUR HEART SINK AND THE PERSONAL STORIES LEAVE IT BROKEN. >> SOMETHING BAD CAN HAPPEN. IT HAPPENED TO ME AND IT CAN HAPPEN TO YOU. MARK: REPRESENTATIVE EMILY SLOSBERG’S TWIN SISTER DORI WAS KILLED IN A CRASH THAT NEARLY TOOK HER OWN LIFE. >> I DON’T WANT ANOTHER FAMILY, I DON’T WANT ANOTHER RESIDENT OF FLORIDA TO GO THROUGH THIS. MARK: IN HONOR OF HER LATE SISTER, REPRESENTATIVE SLOSBERG LED A SUCCESSFUL FIGHT IN FLORIDA FOR THE 2019 LAW MAKING TEXTING WHILE DRIVING A PRIMARY OFFENSE AND BANNING DRIVERS FROM HOLDING A PHONE IN SCHOOL AND WORK ZONES. >> IT IS COMMON SENSE. MARK: STILL, SLOSBERG WORRIES THAT MANY DRIVERS HAVE HAVE FORGOTTEN THE NEW PHONE LAWS DURING THE EARLY MONTHS OF THE PANDEMIC WHEN PEOPLE WERE HOME MORE AND DRIVING LESS. >> PEOPLE CAN EASILY FORGET, SO IT’S IMPORTANT THAT WE REMEMBER THAT TEXTING AND DRIVING IS AGAINST THE LAW. MARK: THIS MAP SHOWS THE NUMBER OF CRASHES IN PALM BEACH COUNTY IN 2019 FROM DRIVERS BEING ON THEIR PHONE. >> IF YOU ARE DRIVING A CAR, THERE SHOULD BE NOTHING ELSE HAPPENING. MARK: SERGEANT PHILLIP HAWKINS WITH THE BOYNTON BEACH TRAFFIC UNIT SAYS THE 2019 LAW HAS BEEN EFFECTIVE GETTING THE MESSAGE OUT TO NOT DRIVE WITH THE PHONE, BUT HE SAYS THERE’S STILL WORK TO DO. >> SURPRISINGLY, PEOPLE ARE PRETTY GOOD IN THE SCHOOL ZONES NOW. THAT HELPS US OUT TREMENDOUSLY, BUT I STILL SEE THE DISTRACTED DRIVING. WE STILL HAVE THE CRASHES THAT PEOPLE AREN’T PAYING ATTENTION. MARK: IN 2018, 2,841 PEOPLE WERE KILLED IN DISTRACTED DRIVING CRASHES ACROSS THE U.S. IN OUR STATE IN 2019, 271 PEOPLE WERE KILLED. >> CAN YOU IMAGINE HITTING YOUR NEIGHBOR’S DOG, CHILD? YOUR NEIGHBOR? IT’S JUST NOT ACCEPTABLE. MARK: BUILDING ON HER SUCCESS FROM THE 2019 LAW, NEXT LEGISLATIVE SLOSBERG HAS HER SIGHTS SET ON FLORIDA JOINING THE OTHER STATES PASSING A HANDS FREE PHONE LAW. >> IT WILL ALLOW THEM TO PULL PEOPLE OVER IF THEY SEE THEM WITH A PHONE IN THEIR HANDS. THIS IS MY NUMBER ONE GOAL, AND I PLAN TO NAME THE LEGISLATION AFTER MY TWIN SISTER DORI. MARK: AND IF YOU THINK YOU CAN TEXT AND DRIVE SAFELY, THE CDC ' ’S US CONSIDER THIS. IF YOU ARE DRIVING 55 MILES PER HOUR, THAT’
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Effort to toughen Florida's distracted driving laws
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Updated: 11:25 PM EST Nov 25, 2020
In today's busy world, many drivers keep their smartphone right in their hand when behind the wheel; 400,000 injuries stem from distracted driving in just a single year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Florida recently banned texting while driving, and now a local lawmaker is going full speed ahead to make it illegal to have your phone in your hand when behind the wheel. "Something bad can happen. It happened to me, and it can happen to you," said State Rep. Emily Slosberg, District 91.Slosberg's late sister, Dori, was killed in a crash that nearly took her own life."I don't want another family, I don't want another resident of Florida to go through this," said Slosberg. In honor of her late sister, Slosberg led a successful fight in Florida for the 2019 law making texting while driving a primary offense, and banning drivers from holding a phone in school and work zones."It's common sense," said Slosberg.Still, Slosberg worries that many drivers have forgotten the new phone laws during the early months of the pandemic when people were home more and driving less."People can easily forget, so it's important that we remember that texting and driving is against the law," said Slosberg."If you are driving a car, there should be nothing else happening," said Sgt. Phillip Hawkins, traffic unit with the Boynton Beach Police Department.Hawkins says the 2019 law has been effective getting the message out to not drive with the phone, but he says there's still work to do."Surprisingly, people are pretty good in the school zones now," said Sgt. Hawkins. "That helps us out tremendously, but I still see the distracted driving. We still have the crashes that people aren't paying attention."According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2018, 2,841 people were killed in distracted driving crashes across the U.S., while in our state in 2019, 271 people were killed, according to FLHSMV."Can you imagine hitting your neighbor's dog, child. Your neighbor! It's just not acceptable," said Sgt. Hawkins.Building on her success from the 2019 law, Slosberg has her sights set on Florida joining the other states passing a hands-free phone law."It will allow them to pull people over if they see them with a phone in their hands," said Slosberg. "This is my number one goal, and I plan to name the legislation after my twin sister Dori."And if you think you can text and drive safely, the CDC says to consider this statistic: If you are driving 55 mph, that's the same as driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed.
PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. —
In today's busy world, many drivers keep their smartphone right in their hand when behind the wheel; 400,000 injuries stem from distracted driving in just a single year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Florida recently banned texting while driving, and now a local lawmaker is going full speed ahead to make it illegal to have your phone in your hand when behind the wheel.
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"Something bad can happen. It happened to me, and it can happen to you," said State Rep. Emily Slosberg, District 91.
Slosberg's late sister, Dori, was killed in a crash that nearly took her own life.
"I don't want another family, I don't want another resident of Florida to go through this," said Slosberg.
In honor of her late sister, Slosberg led a successful fight in Florida for the 2019 law making texting while driving a primary offense, and banning drivers from holding a phone in school and work zones.
"It's common sense," said Slosberg.
Still, Slosberg worries that many drivers have forgotten the new phone laws during the early months of the pandemic when people were home more and driving less.
"People can easily forget, so it's important that we remember that texting and driving is against the law," said Slosberg.
"If you are driving a car, there should be nothing else happening," said Sgt. Phillip Hawkins, traffic unit with the Boynton Beach Police Department.
Hawkins says the 2019 law has been effective getting the message out to not drive with the phone, but he says there's still work to do.
"Surprisingly, people are pretty good in the school zones now," said Sgt. Hawkins. "That helps us out tremendously, but I still see the distracted driving. We still have the crashes that people aren't paying attention."
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2018, 2,841 people were killed in distracted driving crashes across the U.S., while in our state in 2019, 271 people were killed, according to FLHSMV.
"Can you imagine hitting your neighbor's dog, child. Your neighbor! It's just not acceptable," said Sgt. Hawkins.
Building on her success from the 2019 law, Slosberg has her sights set on Florida joining the other states passing a hands-free phone law.
"It will allow them to pull people over if they see them with a phone in their hands," said Slosberg. "This is my number one goal, and I plan to name the legislation after my twin sister Dori."
And if you think you can text and drive safely, the CDC says to consider this statistic: If you are driving 55 mph, that's the same as driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed.
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