The bill to make texting while driving illegal in Florida was signed into law.  This legislation represents a significant step to further ensure that our loved ones are safe on our roads.

While I’m is happy with this crucial first step I believe more needs to be done. I’m intent upon expanding the law to include all handheld devices. Traffic accident statistics are alarming; Palm Beach County’s traffic deaths jumped by 21% from 2011 to 2012 with law enforcement citing cell phones as a key reason.

We take strict safety measures against drinking and driving – an offense that threatens lives on the road. Seatbelt laws, while they took many years to be enacted, are also safety measures we take very seriously. It is time we take life-threatening distractions seriously. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says drivers are 23 times more likely to crash their vehicle if texting while driving. Our law enforcement officials and first responders have seen it firsthand. I have received countless emails from constituents, including first responders, supporting strict action against texting while driving. The risks and the threats are real, and the time to act is now.

My bill, which I will introduce again in the next Legislative Session, will make texting while driving a primary offense, enabling law enforcement to make a lawful stop when someone is texting while driving. As your Senator, your continued support is critical as I continue to fight for your safety and the passage of stricter legislation on this issue.