Adding to the texting-while-driving debate in the state of Florida is the discussion of distracted driving from general use of cell phones. According to the Ocala website, the Florida Senate will be asked next year to ban the use of cell phones while driving, with the exception of headsets. Senate Bill 244, also called “Heather’s Law,” is named after a 27-year-old woman who was killed in an auto accident caused by a texting truck driver. With 80% of auto accidents occurring due to driver inattention (according to the federal DOT), Florida is even considering a bill that would fine any driver found using the phone $100. Although one state senator has been trying to get similar legislation passed in Florida for three years, national attention on the subject this year may lead to a success story on his part this fourth time. For example, the U.S. President signed an executive order recently that prohibits government employees from text messaging while driving on the job, and seven states (and D.C.) have banned cell phone use while driving (again, with the exception of headsets). Eighteen states and D.C. have banned all drivers from text messaging.
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