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Florida State Senator seeks state-wide ban on texting and driving

Florida State Senator seeks state-wide ban on texting and driving
Florida State Senator Maria Sachs, a Democrat from Delray Beach, has sponsored a bill for the upcoming legislature that would make it illegal to text or engage in a cellphone conversation while driving. Broward Sheriff Scott Israel, who backs the bill, joined Sachs at a public demonstration of the effects of using a cellphone while behind the wheel. 100,000 crashes a year are the result of texting or talking while driving. Distracted driving was behind 3,331 fatalities in 2011.

The bill proposed by Sachs would make it illegal to text or have a cellphone conversation without using a hands-free set-up. The first offense would result in a $100 fine with higher fines for a second and a third offense. No Driver's License points would be subtracted. Sachs sees both Republicans and Democrats supporting the bill which would "stop the slaughter that's going on our highways," she said.

During the demonstration that took place on Wednesday, Deputy Ian Hunt drove a Chevy Suburban at 35 miles an hour, trying to change lanes while texting. The result was some erratic driving that led Hunt to knock down half a dozen traffic cones and nearly flip over the Suburban. According to the Broward College Institute of Public Safety's driving instructor Wayne Boulier, texting and driving makes you drive blind and lose seconds in reaction time. "What usually happens is you overcompensate, over-steer or under-steer," said Boulier. Students using a simulator drove off the road or crashed while texting.

While Senator Sachs says that while it will take some time to educate people about text-free driving, it will eventually happen.

source: SunSentinel

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