Effective 10/1/13 texting while driving is ILLEGAL in the State of Florida. The heart of the law reads as follows: “A person may not operate a motor vehicle while manually typing or entering multiple letters, numbers, or symbols or other characters into a wireless communication device or while sending or reading data in such device for the purpose of nonvoice interpersonal communication, including, but not limited to, communication methods known as texting, e-mailing, and instant messaging.”
In an effort to raise public awareness, Syfrett, Dykes & Furr Law Offices is sponsoring and encouraging everyone (especially students) to make the “No Texting While Driving” pledge. (We had over 60 people make the pledge in October, 2013! Two of the pledges were randomly selected to receive $50 gas cards.)
Next month we will look in detail at the penalties associated for violating this new law. To make this a topic of discussion at the dinner table, for whole families who take the pledge, those families will be entered into a separate drawing for Fun on PC Beach! You could win a $100 Pier Park gift card to enjoy food, shopping or whatever you want to do as a family- without texting of course!
For now, I leave you with some real numbers that help emphasize just how dangerous texting while driving can be.
– At 60 miles per hour you travel 88 feet per second. So, if you look down for just 3.5 seconds, you have traveled almost the length of an entire football field.
– Studies have shown the average time to read and send a text is approximately 4.5 seconds.
– The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has stated that texting while driving is SIX times more dangerous than driving while intoxicated.
– This is not only a “teenager” problem. As many as 47% of adults admit to texting while driving.
So, I encourage all of you to seriously consider making the pledge. Your safety is one of your most important assets. The facts related to texting while driving are real. As one NHTSA Campaign states – “One Text or Call Can Wreck It All” – don’t let this happen to you or your loved one.