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News Story
Updated: 06/29/2013 08:00:47AM

Finally! Texting while driving will be illegal

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Bartow Police Chief Joseph Hall

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After much debate, the State of Florida has decided to take action against texting while driving. Other states have already enacted such laws, but Florida held out. However, as of Oct. 1, it will be illegal to text and drive here as well.

Even though the Florida legislature passed this law, they did not go all the way with it. It is only a secondary offense and you can still text while stopped. It has infiltrated the news for the last couple of years … fatalities occurring on our roadways as a result of distracted drivers, most because of texting. It should come as no surprise that this law was enacted.

Not long ago, I wrote about the fact that in Florida it is, and has been for many years, illegal to do anything while operating a motor vehicle that causes a driver to be distracted. It is called careless driving, and this violation can include such actions as putting on makeup, eating, talking on a cell phone or even holding a conversation with someone in the back seat.

In less than one second with your mind and/or eyes off the road, you could hit someone else whether they be walking, riding a bike or in another vehicle. The bottom line is … it doesn’t really matter who is at fault. You can’t take your actions back — what is done is done, regardless of where the blame may lie. Your obligations are to drive safely and defensively for everyone’s protection.

My wife says it best, “Make good choices!” It could affect the rest of your life, or mine.


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