State Senator Maria Sachs and Broward Sheriff Scott Israel came to Broward College’s Institute of Public Safety on January 30 for a press conference about a bill Sachs has introduced to the Florida Legislature aimed at curtailing distracted driving – particularly texting while driving.
“This is Super Bowl week and that’s OK,’’ Sachs, a Democrat representing District 34 in Broward and Palm Beach counties, said. “It’s good because we’re going to win this one for Florida.”
“Florida,” Sachs pointed out, “is one of only six states that has nothing on the books against distracted driving,” she said. “There’s three important things about this bill: No.1 is safety. No.2 is safety and No.3 is safety.”
Sheriff Israel, who was backed up by a contingent of BSO motorcycle officers for the press conference, said he and his department stand firmly behind the legislation.
“Senator, as sure as you’re standing here, this bill is going to save lives,” he said.
Some drivers’ activities, such as texting, remove the drivers’ attention from driving more frequently and for longer periods of time than other distractions,” said Wayne Boulier, who teaches driving to students at the Broward County Police Academy at the IPS. The mere act of dialing a cell phone while driving, he said, increases crash risk by three times. In a study of truckers, researchers reported a 23-fold increase in risk of crashed or near-crashes when drivers were text messaging behind the wheel.