Boca weighs message to state: Fix lax texting, driving laws

Update: The Boca Raton city council passed the resolution 5-0 to become the first local-government council to approve it, News Service of Florida reported.

Original post: Police in Florida cannot pull over drivers for texting, but a state representative wants Boca Raton to send a message this week to legislators that lives are at risk because laws are too slack.

State Rep. Slosberg

The Palm Beach Post reported crash reports indicating distracted driving rose 10 percent in Florida in 2016. Injuries associated with texting rose 45 percent in Palm Beach County.

Rep. Emily Slosberg, D-Delray Beach, said she is working with Boca Raton City Councilman Robert Weinroth to introduce a local resolution urging the state legislature to make texting while driving a primary offense.

Florida is one of four states that make it a secondary offense, meaning no penalty unless unless drivers are pulled over for something else like speeding. Bills by Slosberg and others to strengthen the law made little headway in last spring’s legislative session.

Slosberg said she sent requests to every commissioner in the state asking them to adopt this public safety resolution. Weinroth plans to introduce the resolution supporting the legislation before the Boca Raton city council on Tuesday at 6 p.m.

“Providing law enforcement with the ability to enforce the texting-while-driving ban as a primary offense will save lives and prevent injuries,” Slosberg said.  “I’ve been contacted by constituents with stories about parents dying, kids dying, and it is time that we take action.”

 

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