Last Monday, a new policy when into effect that prohibits on-duty Florida Highway Patrol troopers from using hand-held cell phones while driving. Authorities said the goal of the policy is to set a positive example for Florida drivers and keep roadways safe. Although eight states have banned holding a cell phone and talking while driving, Florida does not have such a ban, so the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles considers this policy a proactive approach to the growing problem of distracted drivers.
Florida’s 1,650 troopers may only use cell phones with a hands-free device, allowing them to keep both hands on the steering wheel. Troopers are also required to pull over to program their GPS or use it in voice-activated mode. Here in South Florida, local agencies including Palm Beach and Broward County Sheriff’s Offices are considering similar bans on holding a cell phone while driving.
Though it’s unknown how many fatal car accidents (if any) were caused by troopers using cell phones, the measure has been praised by the DMV.
Source: FHP troopers barred from talking on hand-held cell phones while driving, South Florida Sun Sentinel, October 4, 2010
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