Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 092854
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File Number: 092854 File Type: Resolution Status: Adopted
Version: 0 Reference: R-1273-09 Control: Board of County Commissioners
File Name: PROHIBIT SCHOOL BUS, TRANSIT BUS & TRAIN DRIVERS FROM TEXTIN Introduced: 10/22/2009
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action: 11/3/2009
Agenda Date: 11/3/2009 Agenda Item Number: 11A20
Notes: Title: RESOLUTION URGING THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE TO PASS SB 326 OR SIMILAR LEGISLATION PROHIBITING SCHOOL BUS DRIVERS, TRANSIT BUS DRIVERS AND TRAIN OPERATORS FROM TEXT MESSAGING WHILE DRIVING
Indexes: LEGISLATURE
  TEXT MESSAGE
Sponsors: Rebeca Sosa, Prime Sponsor
  Sally A. Heyman, Co-Sponsor
  Dorrin D. Rolle, Co-Sponsor
Sunset Provision: No Effective Date: Expiration Date:
Registered Lobbyist: None Listed


Legislative History

Acting Body Date Agenda Item Action Sent To Due Date Returned Pass/Fail

Board of County Commissioners 11/3/2009 11A20 Adopted P

County Attorney 10/22/2009 Assigned Jess M. McCarty

Legislative Text


TITLE
RESOLUTION URGING THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE TO PASS SB 326 OR SIMILAR LEGISLATION PROHIBITING SCHOOL BUS DRIVERS, TRANSIT BUS DRIVERS AND TRAIN OPERATORS FROM TEXT MESSAGING WHILE DRIVING

BODY
WHEREAS, in crashes or near crashes, texting takes a driver's focus away from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, which is enough time to travel the length of a football field at 55 miles an hour; and
WHEREAS, a test by Car and Driver Magazine found that in some cases, a person's reaction time was harmed more by texting while driving than by driving under the influence of alcohol; and
WHEREAS, in January of 2009, the National Safety Council called on state and federal lawmakers to ban the use of cell phones and text messaging devices while driving; and
WHEREAS, a new poll by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety showed that 80 percent of Americans regard texting or e-mailing while driving as a serious safety hazard; and
WHEREAS, texting while driving has proven to be particularly harmful when it involves school buses drivers, public buses drivers, train operators and railroad operators; and
WHEREAS, in 2007, a school bus driver in Prince Georges County, Maryland lost control of the wheel while texting on a cell phone and 30 students ended up in the hospital; and
WHEREAS, in 2008, the worst train crash in 15 years took place in Los Angeles, California when a train conductor sending and receiving text messages went through a red light and collided with a freight train, killing 25 people and injuring another 135; and
WHEREAS, this year, a train operator was allegedly text messaging when two trains collided in Boston’s subway system resulting in 46 people being injured and an estimated $10 million in property damage; and
WHEREAS, also this year, a San Antonio bus driver crashed into an SUV after he was caught on video driving through rush hour traffic texting on his cell phone; and
WHEREAS, a bill has been filed for consideration during the 2010 state legislative session, SB 326 by Senator Carey Baker (R – Eustis) that would prohibit school bus drivers, public transit bus drivers and train operators from writing or sending text messages, instant messages or emails,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, that this Board:
Section 1. Urges the Florida Legislature to pass SB 326 or similar legislation prohibiting school bus drivers, public transit drivers and train operators from writing or sending text messages, instant messages or emails to be punishable as a nonmoving traffic infraction.
Section 2. Directs the Clerk of the Board to transmit a certified copy of this resolution to the Governor, Senate President, House Speaker, and the Chair and Members of the Miami-Dade County State Legislative Delegation.
Section 3. Directs the County's state lobbyists to advocate for the passage of the legislation set forth in Section 1 above, and directs that the 2010 State Legislative Package be amended to include this item.



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