Coalition formed to support ‘Don’t Text and Drive’ legislation

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More than 100,000 crashes a year involve drivers who are texting, causing life-changing injuries and deaths. In an effort to make Florida roads safer, a coalition of law enforcement organizations, businesses and local governments have banned together in support of legislation to stop texting while driving. 

Drivers who text and drive are not only a danger to themselves, but to everyone else on the road.  Individuals who send text messages while driving are 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash.  

While anything that takes your eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, or mind off the task of driving for an unreasonable amount of time can be hazardous, there is heightened concern about the risks of texting while driving because it combines all three types of distraction – manual, cognitive and visual. 

“With the increase in accidents caused by those who text and drive, a new law is critical to prevent future loss of life and property. It is time for Florida to join the group of states that have already taken steps to stop texting and driving,” said Sheriff Susan Benton.   So far 39 states and the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands have banned texting and driving. “To have the biggest impact, any new law in this regard must be a primary offense for proper enforcement.” 

“We want to encourage the Florida legislature to pass legislation that will help keep our families, friends and communities safe,” said Manny Maroño, President of Florida League of Cities and Mayor of the City of Sweetwater.  “We cannot afford to allow this deadly behavior to continue.” 

Many corporations throughout Florida have no texting while driving policies in place and encourage other businesses to consider adopting similar policies.  

“Our goal is to make Florida’s roads safer.  Texting and driving is an epidemic on our roadways, and we want to do our part to help put an end to it,” said Clement Hilton, the Florida plant manager for DuPont. 

“FL Dnt Txt + Drive” coalition members include: 

AAA, AARP, Alamo Rent A Car, Allstate, AT&T, AutoNation, Beer Industry of Florida, City of Orlando, DuPont, Enterprise Car Rental, Florida Automobile Dealers Association, Florida League of Cities, Florida Orthopedic Society, Florida Police Chiefs, Florida Sheriffs Association, Florida Trucking Association, Ford Motor Company, National Solid Wastes Management Association, and Walt Disney World.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.