Thursday, April 15, 2010

Outlaw Texting While Driving In Florida

If you're a bicyclist, then you should support a proposed state law that would ban texting while driving. From the League of American Bicyclists:

Act now to ban texting while driving and support SB 448!

Help move this bill to the Senate floor

Contact State Senators Alex Diaz De la Portilla of the Communication, Energy & Public Utilities Committee and Mike Fasano of Transportation & Economic Development Appropriations Committee TODAY to pass SB 448, Use of Wireless Communications Devices While Driving, a texting while driving ban in the state of Florida. Urge these state legislators to move this bill out of committee and to the floor for a vote.

The bill aims to:

"Improve roadway safety for all vehicle operators, vehicle passengers, bicyclists, pedestrians, and other road users," and
"Prevent crashes related to the act of text messaging while driving a motor vehicle."

Distracted driving has been shown to be as dangerous as drunk driving and annually contributes to nearly 6,000 traffic fatalities across the country.

Texting while driving can increase the risk of crashing by as many as 23 times. Nineteen states and the District of Columbia already have a ban on texting while driving. Enforcing texting laws have proven to be effective - California saw a 70 percent decrease in drivers texting after they passed their ban.

While this issue affects all Floridians, it is particularly important to cyclists and pedestrians and other vulnerable road users. Florida has the highest cyclist fatality rate in the country. Driver inattention contributes to 80 percent of all motor vehicle crashes, costing Floridians an estimated $13.6 billion a year in damages, medical cost and lost productivity.

The legislative session ends May 1. Contact these lawmakers today to bring texting bans to a vote this year.

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