Question of the Day: How Can We Really Stop Texting and Driving

Q&A of the Day – What’s really needed to stop texting while driving in Florida

Each day I’ll feature a listener question that’s been submitted by one of these methods.

Twitter: @brianmuddradio

Facebook: Brian Mudd

Today’s entry…

A smattering of the responses I’ve received the past couple of days while discussing texting while driving.

Bottom Line: As Florida passes feel good mumbo jumbo making texting while driving a primary offense this week – I've made clear my point and the issues associated with enforcement of the law. Mainly that it can’t be enforced and proven under federal law. Period (because a warrant is required to obtain evidence from a mobile device). 

I’ve heard from dozens of you directly on the issue. I picked out a few of the most potentially effectual points and ideas for truly addressing texting while driving in a meaningful way. I think there are two ideas here that should be considered and one that I believe will eventually be enacted in Florida. 

I’ll address each of the ideas. 

Just like Dash cams made it easy to prove DUI, how about side-mounted cams to video record texting action as the patrol car pulls alongside a perpetrator?

It most likely would be admissible but likely wouldn’t be able to specifically prove texting while driving. It would almost certainly be reckless driving which is/was already on the books. Not to mention the idea of an officer attempting to get that view with the cams sounds potentially dangerous. 

I have been arguing the case that the solution to texting n driving is to pressure the industry to lock the feature out when the phone is in motion.

On the surface, It’s a viable idea. The potential flaw with this approach is addressed in this note...

There are already "drive mode" apps. For example"AT&T DriveMode",because remember, some people are just passengers (or riding public or in an airplane) and not driving cars...

Agreed not likely an answer for those reasons.

The law needs to be hands-free ALL OF THE TIME. PERIOD.

I agree and this is where I think we are headed in Florida. There are currently 17 states, including Georgia if you happen to ride up that way occasionally, that have completely banned hand-held use of phones while driving. In multiple instances states began with an incremental approach (like school zones and works zones as we’re doing) before banning hand-held use altogether. In fact, perhaps ironically enough, FAU and Miami teamed up on a study last year that showed these states as have lowered accident fatality rates by 11%.


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