Will Florida pass a texting ban next year?

Drunk driving, the seemingly ever persistent issue, appears to have a challenger when it comes to being one of the most preventable causes of motor vehicle accidents. Readers of this blog are likely very familiar with the culprit-texting and driving. Some believe that the activity is even more dangerous than getting behind the wheel of a car after consuming a few too many alcoholic beverages. One report indicates that drivers who are texting while operating a vehicle are twice as likely to be in a car accident, than someone who is driving drunk.

Many states throughout the nation, 44 in fact, have laws prohibiting texting while driving. Florida is not currently one of them. It is not for a lack of trying. One state representative has tried, unsuccessfully, for six years to get a ban on the activity passed. Last year the proposed law made it the furthest. It passed in the senate but not the house.

There are added incentives this year to pass an anti-texting bill. 50 million reason, in the form of dollars, to be exact. States that pass this type of legislation will be eligible for financial incentives from the federal government. The failure to pass such a law would result in the state of Florida essentially giving money away.

For many residents of the state the issue is likely less about money and more about safety. Most would probably agree that any lives that may be saved as a result of the anti-texting law are far and away more valuable than any money the state could receive.

Source: CBS Miami, “New Killer More Dangerous Than Driving Drunk,” Vanessa Borge, Nov. 16, 2012