(October 9, 2018)-  Traffic Tuesday! For this Traffic Tuesday we will be focusing on texting while driving, which is known as the “Florida Ban on Texting While Driving Law”.

There have been a lot of comments on social media about the amount of crashes lately are presumed to be due to texting while driving. Texting while driving is a serious issue. The Centers for Disease Control reports approximately nine people are killed and more than 1,000 injured daily in the United States in incidents reported as involving a distracted driver. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration , there were 3,477 people killed and an estimated additional 391,000 people injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers in 2015 alone.

The issues at hand are when you go to text, answer/read an email, look at social media, etc., you are doing three main things that are detrimental to driving!

  • Visual: You have to look at your device which takes your eyes off the road and surroundings!

  • Manual: Takes your hand or even hands off the steering wheel. No, your knee isn’t an appropriate manner to steer your car!

  • Cognitive: Takes your focus away from safe driving. You have to think to process information when reading and responding to texts, emails, social media, etc. The term multi-tasking is not really valid. You cannot give 100% to more than one thing at a time. Your priority should be driving!

Florida State Statute 316.305 covers texting while driving. From the statute: A person may not operate a motor vehicle while manually typing or entering multiple letters, numbers, symbols, or other characters into a wireless communications device or while sending or reading data on such a device for the purpose of non-voice interpersonal communication, including, but not limited to, communication methods known as texting, e-mailing, and instant messaging. As used in this section, the term “wireless communications device” means any handheld device used or capable of being used in a handheld manner, that is designed or intended to receive or transmit text or character-based messages, access or store data, or connect to the Internet or any communications service that allows text communications. For the purposes of this paragraph, a motor vehicle that is stationary is not being operated and is not subject to the prohibition in this paragraph.

A violation of this statute commits a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a nonmoving violation. Any person who commits a second or subsequent violation within 5 years after the date of a prior conviction commits a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a moving violation.

REMINDER: If you have traffic concerns, you can submit them here: www.capecops.com/traffic. Your will be routed directly to the Traffic Unit for follow-up. Please be as detailed as possible to include things like days of week, times you are seeing the issue, or specific cars (if it is a particular vehicle with which you are having an issue).

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CAPE CORAL POLICE DEPARTMENT | Public Affairs Office | 1100 Cultural Park Boulevard | Cape Coral, FL 33990 | (239) 242-3341