Florida county looks to ban texting while driving — on the beach

April 6th, 2012 - by DKRPA

Florida’s attempt at banning texting while driving failed again in the most recent legislative session. It’s a divisive safety issue that will surely be debated throughout the year, from Palm Beach to Tallahassee. But one Florida county is taking the initiative and trying to enforce its own texting while driving ban — albeit in a more specialized manner.

Volusia County has proposed a texting while driving ban on their beaches, a response to a pair of fatal car accidents on Daytona Beach in 2010. Many Florida beaches allow cars, a unique feature that does present safety concerns. Volusia County hopes that by banning texting behind the wheel, beach-goers, especially small children, will be better protected from the beach roadways.

If Volusia County successfully passes the bill, it could set a precedent for texting while driving legislation within Florida and possibly push a state-wide ban on the reckless driving practice.

Texting while driving isn’t the only thing addressed in the bill. The proposed law would also require cars on the beach to always have their lights on (while driving) and drivers must have their windows down.

Even though the Florida ban on texting while driving petered out and even if this Volusia County law doesn’t go through, a Jacksonville sheriff made a very good point: “If somebody’s texting while driving, if their driving is not good we could stop them for careless driving. We have a statute for that already.”

You might be able to text and drive, but taking your eyes off the road for a few seconds to check your cell phone greatly increases your chances of getting into a car accident. And, like the sheriff said, reckless driving is a traffic violation and makes you liable if you text, drive and get into a car accident.

Source: WJXT, “Texting and driving ban on beaches?,” April 6, 2012