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Could Florida Ban Young Distracted Drivers?

Although the link between texting and driving and Florida car accidents has been well established, Florida has not yet passed a texting and driving ban. In the state, it is still legal for drivers to use mobile devices while driving, even though other states have banned the dangerous practice. However, a new bill has been proposed which would make it illegal for young drivers to drive distracted.

There is already a precedent for special rules for minor drivers. Young drivers are not allowed to have any alcohol while driving, are not allowed to have an excess of passengers in the car, and must obey graduated licensing laws where they exist. The idea behind such rules is that young drivers have less experience and are therefore more at risk of being in a car accident.

The Minor Traffic Safety Act bill would make it illegal for Florida drivers under the age of majority to use a cell phone while driving. Those who violate the law will receive a ticket. As well, if the act passes, it would require Florida drivers under the age of 18 to display a tag identifying them as minors. The bill would also make it illegal for school bus drivers to use mobile devices while driving.

Currently, there is a national texting ban for truck drivers and school bus drivers. Many states have passed laws which make texting and driving illegal for all drivers in that state. A few states have also banned the use of cell-phones while driving, although hands-free sets are still allowed.

Although Florida has attempted to pass similar rules, these bills have not been able to pass into law. Although these bills have wide-spread support, many people are so reliant on mobile devices that they do not want to see a text ban passed. As well, some law enforcement agencies have stated that enforcing any such laws would be very difficult as drivers tend to text below the level of the windshield or the car windows, making the activity hard to notice. The Minor Traffic Safety Act may be a step towards a more wide-spread ban, if it passes.


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