Florida Finally Bans Texting and Driving, Sort of

No one’s going to accuse Florida of being a safe streets pioneer. But yesterday, the Sunshine State took a “baby step” forward, as one advocate put it, becoming 42nd state to pass a law making texting and driving illegal.

Florida is the 42nd state to ban texting and driving. Image via ##http://www.transitmiami.com/accident/texting-while-driving-finally-against-the-law-in-florida## Transit Miami##

Kathryn Moore at Transit Miami says the law still leaves a lot to be desired, but it’s better than nothing:

In Florida, texting while driving is only a secondary offense, meaning law enforcement can’t pull you over solely for the action. The ticket itself is only $30, but multiple offenses become moving violations and add points to your license/ raise your insurance premiums.

In Florida, it remains just fine to text or drop an email when you’re at a red light – which sounds okay until you realize that motorists are obliged to check for people still in crosswalks as well as green lights. It’s also fine to take calls, change your Pandora station or use Google Maps.

U.S. DOT says in 2011, 3331 people were killed in collisions involving a distracted driver.

Elsewhere on the Network today: The Dallas Morning News Transportation Blog carries the results of a poll finding that Texans are willing to pay more for better road maintenance. The Bike League reports that the roughly 35,000 cyclists participating in this year’s National Bike Challenge logged a combined total of about 18 million miles. And Global Site Plans explains how Bogota, Colombia, established itself as a global leader on sustainable and equitable transportation.

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Today’s Headlines

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State-level transport safety officials embrace texting-while-driving ban (NYT)  Texas toughens rules against drinking and driving, especially for teens (DMN) Privatized roadside rest stops: Coming soon? (LAT) Michigan’s in need of a fix for its transit-funding woes (Free Press)

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