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Florida needs hands-free law

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Florida needs hands-free law

While everyone can agree that texting while driving is dangerous,
many teenagers fail to realize the negative consequences
of all phone use while driving. Even something as
simple as changing the song can be a deadly distraction.
The legislature needs ban all phone use by enacting a
hands-free law similar to the one passed in Georgia.

While everyone can agree that texting while driving is dangerous, many teenagers fail to realize the negative consequences of all phone use while driving. Even something as simple as changing the song can be a deadly distraction. The legislature needs ban all phone use by enacting a hands-free law similar to the one passed in Georgia.

Lauren Kreis

While everyone can agree that texting while driving is dangerous, many teenagers fail to realize the negative consequences of all phone use while driving. Even something as simple as changing the song can be a deadly distraction. The legislature needs ban all phone use by enacting a hands-free law similar to the one passed in Georgia.

Lauren Kreis

Lauren Kreis

While everyone can agree that texting while driving is dangerous, many teenagers fail to realize the negative consequences of all phone use while driving. Even something as simple as changing the song can be a deadly distraction. The legislature needs ban all phone use by enacting a hands-free law similar to the one passed in Georgia.

Sara Beth Jones, Staff Writer

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Every day in America, nine people die in an accident caused by texting and driving, according to the U.S. Department of Motor Vehicles. While people generally agree that texting and driving is dangerous, using your phone while you drive, whether you are changing the music or using GPS, could also cause life threatening accidents. Because of the dangers associated with phone use while driving, it should be illegal to use phones without a hands free device. When teens turn 16, they are so excited to get their licenses that they often forget they are signing up for something that could put other people’s lives, as well as their own, at risk. It’s far too easy to become distracted and careless while on the road, which can be deadly.

“Texting and driving should be illegal because prohibiting it can save the lives of not only the person driving, but also pedestrians and other drivers,” senior Rubi Castro said.

While on the road, there are many things to be aware of, including, but not limited to, pedestrians, other drivers, speed limits and road signs. Whether texting or using apps, by taking your eyes off the road, you are impairing your awareness of your surroundings. To help put a stop to this, Florida should put a law in place similar to the one that went into effect this July in Georgia that makes it illegal for you to even have your phone in your hand while driving. If you are seen with your phone in your hand, you should be fined. In January of this year, Florida made texting and driving a primary offence. Before then, it was a secondary offence, which means the driver had to be pulled over for something else before they could get fined for phone use. While this change was a step in the right direction, it isn’t enough.

“Phone use while driving should be illegal because it distracts the driver, and it takes their eyes off the road, at which time something could happen,” senior Harley Ramba said.

The law office of Melinda Helbock states on their website that young drivers make up 27 percent of those involved in fatal driving accidents. The popularity of apps like Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are only making it harder for young people to put their phones down. Snapchat offers a reminder saying “don’t snap and drive” if it detects motion, but it is dismissible and easily overlooked. More effective, the iPhone’s newest update will keep your phone on Do Not Disturb while you are driving, so that no notifications will pop up. If users can’t police themselves, companies should.

“I wish people wouldn’t text and drive because it is so dangerous,” school librarian Jennifer Underhill said. “I don’t text and drive, but I worry about other people on the road that text and drive and get into accidents.”

People should know when to put down their phones, but until then, laws need to be put in place to punish those who haven’t figured out yet the potentially deadly consequences of their actions.

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Florida needs hands-free law