Almost No Citations One Month into Texting Ban
Published November 1st, 2013
It's been exactly a month since texting and driving became illegal in Florida.
And almost every county in our viewing area hasn't written a ticket for the secondary driving offense.
The lack of citations for texting and driving leaves the question: Is it a sent message to not text and drive?
Four years ago, Vickie Dennis was rear-ended by a 17-year-old who was playing with his iPod while driving.
And that crash has totally changed the way she lives her life.
"If you survive the crash, it devastates your life. If you are killed in the crash, it devastates your family," said Vickie Dennis, crash survivor.
Vickie Dennis is a victim.
Not of a premeditated crime, but of a crash.
"He was playing with his iPod and he never saw me, never saw me sitting there."
She does not remember the crash but she copes with seizures, muscle spasms and no use of her left eye.
She's also out of work and can't do many things in or out of the house because of her pain and possibilty of seizures at any moment.
It's been a month since texting and driving became illegal in Florida.
Every county in our region except Columbia got back to us today and gave us their number of citations written for the offense: no one has received a ticket for it except for two people in Marion County.
"In Alachua County, no citations have been filled out for texting and driving. But some say, the law should be changed from a secondary offense to a primary offense," said Lauren Lettelier, TV20 News.
"When my husband drove me to my doctors appointment, we counted 11 people texting and driving. It doesn't have any teeth in it. It needs to be a primary offense."
The Alachua County Sheriff's Office says texting while driving is dangerous simply because it distracts drivers.
"The average text message takes four seconds to read or send. And at 55 mph, you've traveled the length of a football field with your eyes off of the road," said Art Forgey, Alachua County Sheriff's Office.
It's a life of pain and loss of future memories to be made for Dennis because of her limitations, but she wants her story to be heard to save another from the same fate.
"People need to see what it does to the people that survive. And if they saw more of this, they would understand why this law has to become a primary offense."
There are some apps you can buy on your phone at would lock it down once the phone is in motion in a car.
Some phone companies have installed these precautions in their phones to prevent texting and driving accidents.
Lauren Lettelier, TV20 News.
- Florida Lawmakers Approve A Ban on Texting While Driving
- Texting and Driving Ban Starts Oct. 1st
- Texting While Driving Ban Moves Forward
- Gov. Scott Signs Ban on Texting While Driving
- Texting While Driving Ban
- National Texting and Driving Ban
- Texting & Driving May Soon Be Illegal In Florida
- Alachua County Staff Banned From Texting
- Drivers Have Mixed Reaction Towards Proposed Texting Ban
- Congress Wishes to Penalize States that Allow Texting While Driving