FT. LAUDERDALE (CBS4) – The Broward Sheriff’s Office wants everyone to put down the phone while they are behind the wheel.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) 80 percent of all traffic crashes are caused by distracted drivers. The agency said the principle cause of distraction today is cell phone use, but in Florida there is no prohibition on texting or talking while driving.
So the sheriff’s office has joined forces with state lawmakers and local business leaders in an awareness campaign that targets drivers who text while driving.
The campaign, which has received financial support from Auto Nation and the Law Enforcement Trust Fund, is designed to remind motorists of the dangers of texting while driving. It will feature 30-second safety messages on local cable channels, STOP texting magnets distributed throughout the community and prevention messages posted on county transit buses.
BSO is also supporting companion bills in the Florida Legislature which would make using a cell phone while driving a minor traffic infraction.
If passed, the Florida Ban on Texting while Driving Law would provide law enforcement with the tools necessary to enforce a ban on behind the wheel texting. The sheriff’s office points out that to date, 36 states have enacted legislation which bans the use of wireless communication devices while driving.