A bill has been signed by Florida Governor, Rick Scott, which completely prohibits drivers from typing into communications devices while driving. This effectively bans all manual forms of texting and messaging from smart phones.
“As a father and a grandfather, texting while driving is something that concerns me when my loved ones are on the road. The 100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day are known as the deadliest days on the road for teenagers. We must do everything we can at the state level to keep our teenagers and everyone on our roads safe. I cannot think of a better time to officially sign this bill into law,” the Governor had to say about the bill.
The Governor was not alone when signing the texting and driving bill, known as SB 52. Representatives of The Florida Department of Transportation, Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, Miami Children’s Hospital, Verizon Communications, and AT&T all rallied in support of the ban, along with both students and teachers at Alonzo Mourning Senior High School.
Marshall Criser, President of AT&T Florida stated, “Florida has reinforced the message that texting while driving is a deadly habit. It’s a simple message. No text is worth dying for; it can wait.” Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Executive Director, Julie Jones, agreed, “Nothing is so important that it is worth risking your life by sending a text message while behind the wheel of a vehicle. This legislation will help send the message to all drivers that they need to keep their eyes on the road, not on their cell phone.”
Senator Nancy Detert added, “Texting while driving is an issue we see on our roads every day, and the distractions it causes has negatively affected too many Floridians. Thanks to the support of the Governor and the Legislature, this new law can now lead the way to making our roads safer for Florida drivers and will help teens to form safe driving habits.”
Representative Doug Holder chimed in, “I am proud to join the Governor today in signing SB 52. Not only will this new law encourage responsible driving, it will teach our youngest drivers to put away their phones and concentrate on the road. This will protect Florida families across the state, which is something we should all be thankful for.”
Dr. Narendra Kini, the President and CEO of Miami Children’s Hospital explained her support of the bill, “As a leader in pediatric care, Miami Children’s Hospital wholeheartedly supports the new law banning texting while driving. Making this activity illegal sends a clear message about the associated dangers and will reduce the number of vehicular traumas in our state, providing a safer environment for our children and for all.”
“The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) applauds Governor Scott for signing legislation to ban texting while driving. This action will be an important step to reduce distracted driving on Florida’s roadways,” said Secretary of the Florida Department of Transportation, Ananth Prasad.
The Director of Government and Education for Verizon Wireless, Beth Bailey stated, “Verizon is urging our customers and all wireless communication device users make responsible decisions behind the wheel; responsible driving should be everyone’s first priority. We are proud to join Governor Scott and our industry today to stress to drivers of every generation, across the state of Florida, that when you’re behind the wheel it can wait.”