txt + drv = tix

In Florida alone, over 4,500 car accidents were caused by distractions in the form of electronic devices last year. Texting was directly responsible for 255 of those accidents and many more were probably linked to texting in some way. Obviously this is a huge safety issue, and Florida legislatures finally decided to take action. On October 1st 2013, Florida became the 41st state to enforce a law regarding texting while driving.

Not only is texting now prohibited, but anything that requires typing in general can also be cause for citation. Emailing, searching the web, or dialing on a phone are all against the law. However, this still leaves the voice-control system option, so it’s perfectly acceptable for Siri to accompany you during your daily drives.

According to the new law, texting while driving is considered a secondary offense. This means that drivers can only receive citations for texting if they’re first pulled over for another offense. Senators such as Maria Sachs are pushing to make the law stronger. If texting is made a primary offense, drivers can be pulled over for texting alone.

Exceptions to the law allow drivers to use devices in order to report emergency situations. Traffic and weather reports are also allowed to be accessed while driving. Additionally, the ban on texting and activities of that sort only apply when a vehicle is in motion; texting at stop signs or traffic lights is not yet considered illegal.

Many Academy girls feel that more should be done when it comes to the ban on texting. Rules could be more strict and limiting to this distracting activity.

Junior Maddy Babin hopes that the law can become more restricting in the future. “Texting while driving is a huge issue and not many people take it seriously. If there are ways of getting around the law, people will continue with their bad habits. The law needs to be more strict or else texting will most likely continue.”

Texting while driving is a major issue throughout the nation. Even at Academy, girls can be found texting on their phones while navigating through the parking lot after school. Hopefully the new law will discourage bad habits like this. While the law could be more strict, at least some steps are being taken to help prevent the dangers caused by distracted drivers. Academy girls should keep this new law in mind and remember to always be concious of their decisions and how they can affect others.