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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Sue Carlton column: Time for Florida to pass a no texting while driving law



From Times columnist Sue Carlton:

We are a state that brought the world military groupies in pearls, new ways to mess up elections and legislation on everything from dwarf-tossing to baring your boxers atop your trousers.

We are Florida, land of dubious distinctions.

Here's a more sobering one: We remain one of the only states in America that does not prohibit drivers who are hurtling down the interstate at high speeds from taking their eyes off the road to type out text messages (hey u want pizza 2nite?)

Which is astounding.

Thousands of crashes, injuries and deaths are attributed to texting and other driving distractions yearly. No less than 39 states already ban texting at the wheel, with five more aimed at new drivers, since teenagers tend to text like the rest of us breathe. No-duh laws, you could call them.

But in Florida, we want government's nose out of our business and our cars. You can pry our cellphones from our cold, dead hands, just as soon as we sign off with a smiley-face emoticon.

Here's how state Sen. Nancy Detert, a Republican from Venice, sees it: "Your freedom stops once you've crossed over into my lane." And if you've ever looked in alarm at a swerving driver in traffic to see his head bent and hands busy with his phone, you may agree.

Column here.

[Last modified: Wednesday, November 28, 2012 8:51am]


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