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Florida Lawmaker Crusades To Stop Texting While Driving

Twitter -- Miami-Dade Public Schools
Emily Slosberg speaks to Miami-Dade school students on the dangers of reckless driving. Oct. 20, 2015.

A South Florida lawmaker is on a personal crusade to reduce distracted driving.

State Rep. Emily Slosberg is pushing cities and all 67 counties in Florida to pass a resolution urging lawmakers to make texting while driving a primary offense.

According to state data, there were almost 50,000 crashes involving distracted driving in Florida last year. That’s more than five crashes every hour.

At a recent Boca Raton City Council meeting, Slosberg, D-Boca Raton, said she tried to get a similar law passed during the last legislative session but was unsuccessful.

“Nothing. It’s unbelievable,” said Slosberg of the response from the Legislature. “So I’m hoping this session I’ll go back, and I’ll come with these resolutions from every single county and as many cities as possible — to show that this is something the state of Florida needs to implement.”

Florida is one of just four states where texting while driving is a secondary offense — meaning police can NOT pull someone over for texting behind the wheel. The other states are Nebraska, Ohio and South Dakota.

Slosberg’s crusade is personal. In 1996, she and her twin sister, Dori, were riding in a car through west Boca with a teen driver who was speeding. Their car veered into the opposite lane and caused a head-on collision. Dori was killed, along with four other teenagers.