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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

PolitiFact: Senator says texting has topped alcohol as the lead contributor of teen driving deaths

31

October

On the first day of Florida’s new texting-while-driving ban, state Sen. Maria Sachs, the Senate Democratic leader pro-tem, was already announcing a proposal to make the law tougher.

The new law makes texting while driving a secondary offense, which means an officer can’t ticket a motorist only for typing or reading messages while behind the wheel. Rather, the driver has to first commit another violation, like swerving or running a red light.

Sachs, of Delray Beach, has filed a bill to make texting while driving a primary offense, which she argues will make it easier to enforce. The penalties -- $30 for a first violation -- will remain.

At a press conference with AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson to announce her proposed changes, Sachs recited several somber statistics. PolitiFact checks this claim: "In 2011, texting surpassed alcohol as the leading contributing factor in teen driving deaths."

PolitiFact investigates Sachs' claim. 

[Last modified: Thursday, October 31, 2013 2:16pm]

    

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