Review finds texting and driving ban tough to enforce - FOX 13 News

Review finds texting and driving ban tough to enforce

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File image of a driver using a cell phone while behind the wheel of a car File image of a driver using a cell phone while behind the wheel of a car
TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Florida's texting-while-driving ban was intended to stop distracted drivers, but a recent review found the law is difficult to enforce, and therefore, is rarely used.

In May, a FOX 13 review found that there had been only 800 citations statewide since the ban went into effect.  Now, the Tampa Bay Times reports that law enforcement officials are on pace to issue fewer than 1,800 citations within the first year of the ban.

LINK: See the county-by-county numbers

Drivers are more likely to be cited for improper backing up, or parking than for texting while driving.

Law enforcement officials tell FOX 13 the law is difficult to enforce for a couple of reasons:

It's a secondary offense- meaning they have to pull someone over for another offense, and then cite them for texting while driving.

Investigators cannot access a person's phone records unless a crash causes injury or death, making it difficult to prove someone was in fact, texting.

An estimated 421,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted drive. That’s a nine percent increase from the estimated 387,000 people injured in 2011, according to U.S. government website, www.distraction.gov.

At any given moment across America, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving, a number that has held steady since 2010.

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