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Old People Want You to Stop Texting and Driving

AARP has 2.8 million members in Florida, and a good number of them want people to stop it with all the texting and driving already.

Mostly because they're not sure what texting is. Is it for sex?

We kid, we kid.

It's really dangerous, and people shouldn't text and drive. The question is, should it be made into law?

According to 93 percent of voters age 50 and older surveyed by AARP, the answer is yes. Also, turn that damned music down!

The Florida Legislature has thought about introducing some kind of text-ban before, but not really. Now, however, it looks like the chances of turning it into law is the real deal.

The Senate Transportation Committee will be hearing a motion to institute a text-and-drive ban this week, and the AARP survey might help sway the committee.

Attempts for the motion had been blocked by House Speaker Dean Cannon in the past. But since his term ended and he's no longer there to swat away text-ban motions like Dikembe Mutombo, the door is now open for Florida to become the nation's 40th state to prohibit all drivers from texting.

Rick Scott vetoed legislation last year that would've ordered the state's Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to develop programs to educate folks on the dangers of distracted driving. But lately he's been more lax in his stance, because his approval ratings suck he now sees the benefits in instituting some kind of law.

Scott has asked the state's Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to look into the dangers of texting and driving.

In a comment that echoes his response to the Sandy Hook tragedy, Scott said of texting and driving: "I think we ought to continue to look at ways to make our state safer."

There are good intentions with these measures, of course. The tricky thing is how a law like this could be enforced. A person pulled over for texting and driving could defend themselves by saying they were checking a map on their phone or offer some other similar explanation.

A recent measure introduced by Sen. Nancy Detert and Rep. Doug Holder proposes a law that would make texting while driving a secondary offense, which boils down to a person getting a ticket for it only if they were pulled over for some other road violation.

The survey taken by AARP has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.3 percent.

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Chris Joseph
Contact: Chris Joseph

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