Texting while driving is the new DUI. Automobile accidents caused by texting will soon outpace accidents caused by drunk drivers. Florida has strict penalties for drunk driving, but it is one of only six states that has no ban at all on texting while driving. A bill under consideration in the Legislature, HB 13, makes texting a secondary offense, which means that a police officer cannot pull you over for texting; a ticket can be issued only when you are pulled over for some other offense.
The proposed fine of $30 ($60 for the second occurrence within five years) is more like a kiss on the cheek than a deterrent to prevent texting. Summon your courage, legislators — pass a law that will save lives!
Dabney (Bud) Park, Coral Gables