Drivers in the state of Florida are still allowed to talk on cell phones and text message at the wheel. In fact, we’re one of the few states left in the U.S. that hasn’t enacted any laws to regulate such dangerous behavior, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. That could all be changing soon.
At a meeting earlier this week, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommended a nationwide ban to stop drivers from using portable electronic devices behind the wheel, according to CBS Miami. If this recommendation makes it into office, drivers would be able to use these devices only in emergencies or to help aid safe driving. Regulating distractions for drivers could help to significantly cut down on the number of car accidents in Lauderdale Lakes and elsewhere throughout South Florida.
“According to NHTSA, more than 3,000 people lost their lives last year in distraction-related accidents,” said NTSB chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman. “It is time for all of us to stand up for safety by turning off electronic devices while driving. No call, no text, no update is worth a human life.”
Our Lauderdale Lakes car accident attorneys understand that many states have trouble enforcing distracted driving-related laws. In many states, drivers are permitted to make phone calls at the wheel, but aren’t allowed to send or receive text messages while driving. These laws make it hard for law enforcement officials to determine what a driver was actually doing at the wheel; talking on the phone or composing a text message. A federal ban on these behaviors may be a better way to reduce the risks of car accidents across the U.S. and help officials to better enforce distraction-related driving laws.
Throughout the years, lawmakers in our state have made several attempts to pass bans on text messaging at the wheel. There’s even another proposal on the lineup for the upcoming 2012 legislative session. If this law makes it through, drivers could face a $30 fine for texting while operating a motor vehicle. This would only be a secondary offense and still cell phone use wouldn’t be regulated.
“Needless lives are lost on our highways, and for what? Convenience? Death isn’t convenient,” Chairwoman of the NTSB, Deborah Hersman said. “So we can stay more connected? A fatal accident severs that connection.”
The NTSB isn’t the only organization that agrees with these measures. The National Safety Council (NSC) is applauding the NTSB for making such a move to make our roadways safer. The NSC reports that more than a million traffic accidents occur every year because of distracted drivers.
“Making citizens safer is one of the most important roles of government,” said the president of the NSC, Janet Froetscher. “We are hopeful that legislators across the nation will recognize the value of NTSB investigations and recommendations and take the necessary actions proposed by NTSB to make our roadways safer for everyone.”
If you or a family member has been injured in a traffic accident with a distracted driver in Lauderdale Lakes, Royal Palm Beach, Pompano Beach or in any of the surrounding areas, contact our personal injury lawyers of Freeman, Mallard, Sharp & Gonzalez, LLC for a confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call 1-800-529-2368.
More Blog Entries:
Back-Over Car Accidents in Vero and Elsewhere Can Increase During Busy Holiday Season, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, December 6, 2011
Daylight Saving Time Brings Increased Risks of Car Accidents in Royal Palm Beach, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, November 21, 2011