Florida is among just a handful of states with no state law prohibiting texting and driving–or any distracted driving law whatsoever. Some in the state, including law enforcement groups, business groups and driver safety advocates, have asked state legislators to create a new law as a matter of public safety.
So far state legislators have been resistant to a distracted driving law. Many opponents to a distracted driving law say such a law would unfairly encumber business people in a state where business is the backbone of an economy transitioning from one which is service-based to a more technology based economy. They also question whether such a law would cause issues for the state’s millions of tourists who visit the state each year.
Public safety advocates say such arguments don’t hold water because they don’t address the fact that distracted driving is causing untold numbers of deaths each year and costing the state millions of dollars in unneeded expenses. They cite statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Highway Safety Institute and U.S. Department of Transportation which indicate that traffic collisions and costs associated with distracted driving have been rising consistently the past several years and continue to trend up.
Now that Senator Sachs and others have joined the group pushing for a distracted driving ban in Florida it seems much more likely to pass. Public polls indicate that more residents in Florida are in favor of a ban than oppose one. It seems likely that before the end of the year such a bill will be crafted and put before the Florida legislature where it seems destined to pass.