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English 3

In: English and Literature

Submitted By valentinexo
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After years of debating, Florida along with thirty seven other states have all banned texting while driving. However, we still have an issue with using mobile devices on the road. What sets Florida apart from the other states is that it’s only a secondary offense, basically meaning that Florida drivers are only cited if they are pulled over for a primary offense such as not wearing a seat belt. What is more questionable of it all is the fact that the person will only be paying a thirty dollar fine when cited. When we think about it, has Florida actually done enough to help prevent texting and driving? Some Florida drivers think that the amount one has to pay when charged because texting while driving, is not considered a serious offense, but the law has hardly made an impact on the state. Florida does not do enough to prevent distracted driving because it is considered a first offense, the fines are too light and they need to realize that the problem is only growing because of their lack of negligence.
Because Florida considers texting and driving a only a secondary offense, many people are able to get away with texting and driving. According to Tampa bay Times, from October 1, 2013 to May 2014 only about one hundred and twenty five citations had been issued to drivers who texted while driving who lived in Hillsborough County, Hernando County, Pasco County, and Pinellas County. This is an extremely low considering that twenty five percent of all collisions are caused by texting and driving. This means a driver can only get pulled over and ticketed for a primary offense such as running a stop sign or red light. The question we must ask is, How is this law actually even effecting the normal driver? The Cuthbert Law Offices states that around forty nine percent of American commuters admit to sending a text, reading a text, or even an email while driving. Of the forty nine percent, only forty three percent called it a habit. Truth is, the laws Florida has put in place to prevent texting and has had almost no effect on it’s drivers because the fines are too light for such a serious offense.
Florida’s fine of thirty dollars is one of the lowest of the states that prohibit texting and driving. The law is practically pointless because paying thirty dollars doesn’t really affect anyone to the point that they would be more careful driving. It isn’t really an appropriate punishment for an issue that is becoming more serious with drivers. A person shouldn’t receive jail time for texting and driving but the fines should definitely high enough so that a person will think not to text while driving. The majority of drivers understand that it is not good to text and drive, but fail to realize that it is becoming more serious of an issue among teens. According to Texting and Driving Safety, studies show that in 2011, twenty three percent of all auto collisions involved someone who was texting and driving. Studies also show that seventy percent of all Americans from ages eighteen to sixty four admitted that they had used their phones while driving. Studies also show that thirteen percent of teens ages 18- 20 who have been in wrecks admitted to using their phones, and thirty percent of teens habitually text and drive. “We need to do more than just making public service announcements. There should be actual consequences to breaking the law.” say a reporter from Tampa Bay News. “For an example, when someone is ticketed for texting and driving, they should be required to pay a fine ranging between the prices of 100 to 550 dollars, plus they must attend a seminar for safe driving. It’s important to enforce laws that will make people think before they pick up their phones.” More Public Service Announcements should be shown in high schools and even in middle schools. We need to realize that phones are more accessible to teens than alcohol is so it must be stressed on the public especially the students on how dangerous texting and driving is. Despite the fact that the law passed in Florida has had no effect on the public, we can conclude that a change should come. As citizens, daily commuters, and passengers, we should definitely make more attempts to help ourselves and others from driving while texting. Steps we can take to achieve this is by simply ignoring the text received to us while behind the wheel, talking to family members about safe driving, and making the public more aware of this danger. Texting and driving can easily be avoided if we are aware and make others aware of this so we don’t become another statistic.…...

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