Thursday, August 3, 2017

Franklin County supports move to make texting and driving a primary offense

Franklin County Commissioners this week approved a resolution asking the legislature to make texting and driving a primary offense in Florida.

Florida is one of only 4 states in which texting and driving is not already a primary offense, which means you can't be stopped for doing it unless you break another traffic law first.

The other states are Nebraska, Ohio and South Dakota. 

The action was taken at the request of State representative Emily Slosberg who represents the 91st district which includes Boca Raton and Boynton Beach.

She attended Tuesday's Franklin County Commission meeting to make a personal plea for the board to support the resolution in the hopes it will show state lawmakers how much support there is for the move statewide.

Slosberg has a personal reason for getting the stronger law passed as she lost her twin sister and 4 friends in a car accident in 1996, an accident that also put her in the hospital.

Last session, Slosberg fought to make texting while driving a primary offense and even offered a number of variations on the bill to include only drivers under 18 and only drivers in school zones, but the Legislature did not approve the bills.

She said the move is just common sense.

Distracted driving is the most common form of death for teenagers in the US.

A study released in April also found that Florida drivers ranked second in the country for distracted driving.

Slosberg is now seeking support from county and city commissions in the hopes that will push the legislature to take action.

The Franklin County Commission approved the resolution unanimously.

They also asked that the Franklin County Sheriff's office write a letter of support in the hopes that will lead other law enforcement groups to support the measure too.