This video released last year by the Collier County Sheriff’s Office shows a number of motorists who either ignored or did not see red lights and caused a number of near accidents. Somewhat ironically, later that year, researchers at Texas A&M University’s Transportation Institute found that drivers were 11 times more likely to miss a flashing light while texting.
With April designated as National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, the issue is once again leading to stricter enforcement of distracted driving. While Florida is still among the minority of states without some sort of ban on texting and driving, that does not mean Collier County deputies cannot issue tickets to motorists who are not paying attention.
“There is no citation dealing specifically with texting and driving,” Lieutenant Michael Dolan of the Collier County Sheriff's Office told WZVN-TV in a story published on April 2, 2012. “The charge would be careless driving."
WZVN noted that deputies in Collier County are focusing on Pine Ridge Road, where there have been 28 injury-related crashes—including six fatal crashes—between Interstate 75 and Goodlette Frank Road. Furthermore, it is important to note that cell phones are not the only form of distraction for drivers.
“Are they fumbling with papers? Are they putting on makeup? Are they doing something that will take their attention from the road?” Dolan asked WZVN, identifying a few of the other possible distractions. “If it impacts their driving, we'll give them a citation for careless driving,"
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