National crackdown on texting and driving - FOX 13 News

National crackdown on texting and driving

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You may have cursed at them under your breath, or even out loud, as you drove past -- people who text and drive. On Thursday, a campaign kicked off to crack down on them here in Florida and across the nation.

No one knows better than David Roadruck how dangerous they can be. He was crossing the street with a green arrow when a texting driver hit him.

"She admitted it," he told FOX 13.

Roadruck broke his knee, ribs, and disc and now walks with a cane.

"She could have just as easily killed me," Roadruck continued.

Along with Florida, nearly 40 other states plus Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Guam have banned texting and driving.

Penalties can be pretty stiff. In our state, your first offense is $114. Repeat offenders can be fined $164 and given two points on their license.

However, surprisingly few tickets have been handed out since the anti-texting and driving law took effect last October. There are a few reasons for that. An officer cannot pull you over only for texting and driving. When they do, they have to prove that's what you were doing.

"They would have to actively see someone sending a text message or reading a text message," said Ann Dinges with the Lakeland Police Department.

So in addition to the threat of fines, law enforcement hopes drivers rely on something else to put the phone away while they're on the road -- good old fashioned, common sense.

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