Florida remains one of just a handful of states with no law preventing drivers from using handheld devices behind the wheel. No anti-texting, no forced hands-free devices; nothing that prevents drivers from taking their eyes off the road to check their email on their smartphone of text their spouse that they are picking up dinner on the way home from work.

Debates have raged in some states over the rights of legislators to determine what a motorist may or may not within the confines of their private vehicle. In states such as Florida and Texas, legislators have determine statewide controls to deter distracted driving were too much of a reach and instead individual municipalities should determine the best course of action for their region.

These decisions have not set well with safety advocates who claim that more determined action by the government is needed to ensure drivers are safe on the roads.

Once again, as often happens in this country, private citizens and companies are ‘riding to the rescue.’ South Florida is just one example of hom corporate and public entities are using their influence to make a difference in their immediate community:

…Mike E. Maroone and Michael Jackson, the president and CEO of AutoNation, respectively, who publicly call for the passage of anti-texting laws in Florida. And Howard Schnellenberger, former coach of Florida Atlantic University, the University of Miami (when the Hurricanes won a national title) and assistant with the Miami Dolphins (when they had the perfect season), who recent began lending his celebrity status to promoting safe use of technology while driving.

Now add Joseph Riano to the mix. Riano is the Boca Raton developer behind a new and free Android app called FreeSafeText. With an iPhone version expected in the fall, the new app prevents drivers from mixing cell-phoning with driving.

These groups are banding together to educate the public about the dangers of distracted driving and making every attempt to give drivers the tools they need to do something about it. For themselves and their loved ones, these efforts might just make a difference.