While the dangers of texting-and-driving are real, only 30 states have laws banning it. In Florida, where there are no laws regarding cell phones or texting, at least three state representatives have filed legislation for the 2011 legislative session, with more expected. To this end, AutoNation has partnered with the Broward Sheriff’s Office in South Florida to sponsor a public safety campaign called “STOP texting” to raise awareness about the danger of texting while driving. 60,000 stop-sign shaped magnets which read “TXT=RIP” will be distributed across South Florida, as well as safety messages, some of which will wrap the exterior of public transit buses.
Broward County Sheriff Al Lamberti is featured in a public service commercial that has been distributed to local television stations. The video includes a dramatic recreation of a car accident caused by testing and driving:
“Driving is really the only thing we do every day that can kill us,” said Lamberti during a press conference last month. “Six-thousand people died last year as a result of distracted driving. Over 400,000 people were injured … Texting while driving is equivalent to trying to drive a car after you’ve had four drinks of alcohol.”
The Broward Sheriff’s Office is supporting the “Florida Ban on Texting While Driving Law” which would make texting while driving a secondary offense. The proposed law stops short of an out-right ban – requiring primary offense to be present before a police officer can pull you over and issue a ticket. Legislatures fear that a stronger ban on texting might prevent the law from being passed.
AutoNation’s sponsorship of the “STOP texting” campaign is part of a larger company-wide safety initiative. At the same press conference, AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson said “Our company has banned all 19,000 associates from personally texting and driving – while on the job or not.”
Join us today by making a promise to yourself, your friends and your family to never text while driving.