October 1st, 2013, was the date the new law against texting while driving went into effect in Florida. But in the 42 days since the law took hold, local law enforcement agencies in Lee County aren't exactly burning up their ticket books issuing citations for the offense.
According to the Fort Myers News-Press, only 5 citations for texting while driving have been written since the law's inception – 1 by the Fort Myers Police Department and 4 by the Lee County Sheriff's Office. But, local law enforcement spokespersons don't seem overly concerned with the small number of tickets issued. They say that while they are vigilant in watching for the infraction, they also are aggressively promoting the educational process regarding the new law, and what happens if you are cited.
Currently, if you are seen texting while driving, it is a secondary offense – the cops will need to pull you over for another reason before they can write you a ticket for the texting violation.
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The article goes on to state that the police are stepping up their awareness of all types of distracted driving, not just texting while behind the wheel. Their end goal is to make people aware of the law before they get pulled over and are issued a ticket.
Another prominent player in the effort to teach safe driving techniques and habits to drivers of all ages is Stay Alive…Just Drive! Inc., (SAJD). SAJD is a nationally recognized 501(c)3 traffic crash prevention, awareness, and education program aimed at curbing distracted driving and promoting safe driving. Executive Director Jay Anderson is a traffic safety professional who gives over 100 presentations locally about the dangers of distracted driving, in cooperation with organizations like The Florida Department of Transportation, Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, the Florida Teen Safe Driving Coalition, Lee and Collier County School Districts, SafeKids Lee/Collier and area public safety agencies. For more details, visit www.sajd.org.
Distracted driving – whether it is texting, eating, or just playing with the radio – is a dangerous practice that needs to be eliminated in order to save lives on our nation's roads. The personal injury attorneys at Goldberg, Racila, D'Alessandro & Noone urge you to teach your kids about the dangers of distracted driving, and to contact Stay Alive…Just Drive! for resources and to find out how to get involved.