The official Blog for bikewalklee.org. BikeWalkLee is a community coalition raising public awareness and advocating for complete streets in Lee County, FL.
Sunday, December 9, 2012
BikeWalkLee letter to Lee State Legislative Delegation urging ban on texting while driving
For the third year in a row, BikeWalkLee has written to our Legislative Delegation urging the Florida Legislature to enact legislation banning texting while driving.Will 2013 be the year that Florida joins the 39 states that have already banned the practice?
BikeWalkLee, a coalition working to complete Lee County’s
streets, urges you to take action this legislative session to address the
growing problem of distracted driving, especially texting while driving.Vulnerable road users such as pedestrians,
bicyclists and motorcyclists are most at risk from distracted drivers.
This is the third year in a row that we have urged the
Florida Legislature to take long-overdue action to pass legislation that bans
texting while driving.While our state
elected officials ignore this serious public safety problem, Florida's traffic
fatalities are up 4% for the first quarter of 2012 as compared to that period
last year -- and in Lee County, fatal crashes more than doubled for the first
quarter.Equally disturbing, the Florida
Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) just released the 2011
Florida Traffic Crash Statistics Report, which showed that bicyclist fatalities
increased statewide between 2010 and 2011 by almost 58% -- whileLee County's bicyclist fatality rate was 27%
higher than the Florida statewide rate in 2011!Motorcyclist fatalities increased during this period by 18%.According to DHSMV, drivers were distracted
in 43% of Florida's fatal crashes. Florida was already one of the deadliest
states in the country for vulnerable road users, and these new statistics show
that poor performance is getting even worse. .....................
There are several ways the legislature could address this
issue, from a legislative ban on texting while driving to a revision in the
existing Careless Driving statute.The
latter approach would address all distractions that impair the drivers’ ability
to control their vehicle.Regardless of
the approach taken, it’s important that these provisions have teeth and are
In a perfect world, it wouldn't take a law to make people
do the smart thing.But this world isn't
perfect and, when one person's actions endanger others, lawmakers must support
public safety and give law enforcement personnel the tools they need to keep
roads safe and keep distracted drivers from putting themselves and others at risk.
We urge you to enact legislation this legislative session. We look forward to
working with you to make our roadways safer for all users.