If you regularly drive in Florida, you probably know that texting while driving is a secondary offense. This means that a law enforcement officer cannot stop you solely for texting while driving, but if you are stopped for another offense, then you can also be cited for texting behind the wheel. Should a similar law apply to individuals on bicycles, skateboards, and mopeds? According to a recent article in Miami Today, South Florida safety advocates are pushing for a ban on texting while driving to extend to people on bicycles, skateboards, scooters, hoverboards, mopeds, and other vehicles.
While the proposed ban has not yet been approved, could such a ban in West Palm Beach help to reduce the rate of distracted driving accidents?
Expanding the “Put It Down” Campaign to Reduce Injuries Caused By Cell Phone Distraction
The “Put It Down” campaign started in Miami-Dade County, and it is a seasonal initiative that began with the aim of “teaching high school students the dangers of distracted driving.” Now, city officials are seeking to expand that campaign to prevent accidents caused by cell phone distraction in other areas. Indeed, county commissioners recently approved a resolution to expand the campaign and to begin focusing on preventive measures for accidents caused by distracted cycling and even distracted walking.
According to the article, the county will begin installing signs to “deter mobile device use while on roadways and in public spaces.” It will be happening in conjunction with another campaign in the area known as “Heads Up, Miami!,” which also aims to prevent collisions caused by distracted driving, cycling, and walking. Even distracted pedestrians can cause accidents or, at the very least, may be unable to avoid a collision with a motor vehicle driven by a distracted driver.
The “Put It Down” campaign largely targets Floridians between the ages of 16 and 24, suggesting that specific demographic is at highest risk for causing a distracted driving accident. At the same time, however, drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians of all ages can be guilty of getting distracted by cell phone use, and some safety advocates suggest that the campaign needs to extend beyond a relatively small target age group.
Could a Broader Texting Ban Prevent Accidents in West Palm Beach?
Given that Miami-Dade County is taking steps to prevent accidents by banning texting while cycling and while using other vehicles, could similar action help to reduce distracted driving accidents in West Palm Beach?
Believe it or not, distracted walking and distracted bicycling are common phenomena. Indeed, a study published in the Journal of Trauma Nursing cited the prevalence of distracted bicycling collisions, while organizations such as the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) frequently discuss the dangers of distracted walking.
Contact a West Palm Beach Personal Injury Lawyer
Until actions are taken to prevent distracted driving, cycling, and walking in West Palm Beach, it is important to be aware of the risks of cell phone use while engaged in other activities. If you or someone you love recently got hurt in an accident, you should reach out to a West Palm Beach personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Contact Lesser Lesser Landy & Smith PLLC for more information about filing a claim for compensation.