What to Know
- Currently in the state of Florida, texting while driving is a secondary offense that can only be enforced if a driver is pulled over.
Sparked by her own family tragedy, a member of the Florida House of Representatives from South Florida is presenting legislation that would require drivers in the state to put down their phones while the drive.
Emily Slosberg, a Democrat whose district runs from Boca Raton to Boynton Beach, wrote the potential bill that would ban texting and holding a phone while driving but would allow for the use of Bluetooth devices in the state.
“Everywhere you go, every single day, you see somebody on the roadways texting and driving, you see them holding their phone distracted every single day. We have an epidemic on our roadways,” Slosberg told NBC affiliate WPTV.
Currently in the state of Florida, texting while driving is a secondary offense that can only be enforced if a driver is pulled over for a separate violation. Slosberg’s motive comes from a very personal reason – the death of her sister in a 1996 crash.
“I lost my twin sister in a car crash and I was almost killed. The reason I ran for office is to ensure nobody else will go through what I did,” she said.
Slosberg’s father, Irv, spent 16 years in the Florida House and pushed for a similar bill while also sponsoring legislation that passed making failure to wear a seatbelt a primary offense in the state.
“You don’t have the right to drive a car distracted; you just don’t have that right. It is a deadly combination,” said Slosberg, who is optimistic the bill will pass this time thanks to support from the Senate majority leader, who is a Republican.