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Young Florida drivers are the focus of a distracted driving law

Students from a Boca Raton high school were faced with a grim reality: car accidents are the leading cause of death for people under the age of 18. The students were in an assembly that was put on by a Florida Representative who is proposing new legislation that would make it illegal for minors to text and drive.

In general, a number of things can cause car accidents from careless drivers to wildlife jumping in front of vehicles. But for high school students, distracted driving is the leading cause of car crashes.

Distracted driving has become a concern across the nation. Many states have already banned the use of cell phones behind the wheel, whether it is texting or calling someone.

The Florida Representative is hoping to pass a bill called the Minor Traffic Safety Act. Under this act, minors who are caught using their cell phone while they are driving can be ticketed by law enforcement. The bill also prohibits school bus drivers from using their phones. The representative hopes that his bill will save lives.

In the assembly, the students heard testimonies from several individuals who support the proposed act. A member of the sheriff's office gave students a better idea of just how horrific a car accident can be. Many of the examples he gave told of the injuries that drivers have suffered in the event of a crash.

Being distracted behind the wheel can have severe consequences, not only for the distracted driver but also for those who are sharing the road. Victims of a car crash can suffer injuries as serious as a traumatic brain injury or even death.

There is no way to tell how effective this law will be until it is passed and enforced.

Source: Sun Sentinel online, "Bill aims to crack down on teen cell-phone use in cars," Alexia Campbell, 02 February 2011

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