Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 121522
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File Number: 121522 File Type: Resolution Status: Adopted
Version: 0 Reference: R-723-12 Control: Board of County Commissioners
File Name: URGE FL LEGISLATURE TO BAN TEXTING WHILE DRIVING Introduced: 7/19/2012
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action: 9/6/2012
Agenda Date: 9/4/2012 Agenda Item Number: 11A15
Notes: Title: RESOLUTION URGING THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE TO BAN TEXTING WHILE DRIVING
Indexes: LEGISLATURE
Sponsors: Rebeca Sosa, Prime Sponsor
  Lynda Bell, Co-Sponsor
  Esteban L. Bovo, Jr., Co-Sponsor
  Audrey M. Edmonson, 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 9/6/2012 11A15 Adopted P

County Attorney 7/19/2012 Assigned Jess M. McCarty

Legislative Text


TITLE
RESOLUTION URGING THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE TO BAN TEXTING WHILE DRIVING

BODY
WHEREAS, according to a December, 2011 survey from the International Association for the Wireless Telecommunications Industry, there are an estimated 331.6 million wireless subscriber connections in the U.S., which outnumber the total U.S. population; and
WHEREAS, these statistics reflect a rapid and substantial increase in the number of wireless subscriptions from 203,600 in June, 1985; and
WHEREAS, the number of text messages sent also has risen dramatically to approximately 2.3 trillion text messages sent during calendar year 2011, up from 158.6 billion text messages sent during calendar year 2006, the first year in which text message data was collected by the International Association for the Wireless Telecommunications Industry; and
WHEREAS, according to a June, 2011 national survey by the American Automobile Association (AAA) Foundation, 94 percent of drivers consider texting while driving a serious threat; and
WHEREAS, nonetheless, more than one third of drivers admit to reading a text message or email while driving in the past 30 days and more than a quarter of drivers admit to sending a message while driving in the past month; and
WHEREAS, public concern over distracted driving has resulted in a number of jurisdictions making it illegal to use hand-held cellular telephones for talking or texting or both while driving; and
WHEREAS, in October, 2001, Miami-Dade County was among the first jurisdictions to pass an ordinance prohibiting the use of cellular telephones while operating a motor vehicle except with a hands-free device when this Board passed Ordinance No. 01-148; and
WHEREAS, shortly thereafter, during the 2002 regular session, the Florida Legislature enacted Chapter 2002-179, Laws of Florida (HB 358), which preempted local governments from regulating the use of electronic communications devices in motor vehicles; and
WHEREAS, in October, 2009, President Obama issued an Executive Order directing federal employees not to engage in text messaging while driving government-owned vehicles or with government-owned cellular equipment; and
WHEREAS, in November, 2009, this Board enacted Resolution No. 1390-09, which prohibited County employees, with certain exceptions, from text messaging, emailing or talking on a cellular telephones or other personal wireless handheld device when driving county-owned or -leased vehicles unless a hands-free device is used; and
WHEREAS, on December 13, 2011, the National Transportation Safety Board urged all U.S. states to ban drivers from using electronic devices while driving, including for text messaging, after several investigations found that texting was the cause of deadly accidents; and
WHEREAS, as of May, 2012, 37 states and the District of Columbia have banned texting while driving for all drivers, and another five states have banned texting while driving for holders of learner’s permits, drivers under age 21, school bus drivers and/or public transit operators, according to a National Conference of State Legislatures survey; and
WHEREAS, Florida is one of only eight states, along with Arizona, Hawaii, Montana, New Mexico, Ohio, South Carolina and South Dakota, that have not imposed any ban on texting while driving, whether for all drivers or limited groups of drivers; and
WHEREAS, in recent years, bills have been filed in the Florida Legislature each session that would ban talking or texting or both while driving, but these bills have not passed; and
WHEREAS, bills were filed for consideration during the Florida Legislature’s 2012 session that would have banned texting while driving enforced as a secondary offense, SB 416 by Senator Nancy C. Detert (R – Venice) and HB 299 by Representative Ray Pilon (R – Sarasota), but these bills did not pass; and
WHEREAS, this Board strongly supports passage of legislation during the Florida Legislature’s 2013 session that would ban texting while driving,
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 legislation that would ban texting while driving.
Section 2. Directs the Clerk of the Board to transmit a certified copy of this resolution to the Governor, Senate President, House Speaker, the Chair and Members of the Miami-Dade County State Legislative Delegation, Senator Nancy C. Detert, and Representative Ray Pilon.
Section 3. Directs the County’s state lobbyists to advocate for the passage of the legislation set forth in Section 1 above, and authorizes and directs the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs to include this item in the 2013 State Legislative Package when it is presented to the Board.




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