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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Sen. Altman: R U in CAR? NO TXT, PLS



CrackBerry addicts and iPhone devotees, take note: Sen. Thad Altman, R-Melbourne, doesn't want you texting on those handy handhelds while driving.

He just announced he has filed legislation that would ban what has become a common -- if unsafe -- practice. Altman’s legislation would prohibit the reading, typing and sending of an electronic message while behind the wheel. If passed, Florida would join 18 other states that ban texting while driving. Florida currently has no laws in place banning the use of cell phones while driving. Rep. Doug Holder, R-Sarasota, filed similar legislation in his chamber in July.

Sending text messages or e-mails while driving places both the driver and those on the road around them in danger, Altman said. “We need additional highway safety laws in place to address the growing use of mobile devices while driving.”

Altman's announcement cited a U.S. Department of Transportation report that 6,000 deaths last year resulted from drivers using mobile devices. The percentage of car crashes and injuries caused by distracted drivers is increasing each year.

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 2:20pm]


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