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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Floridians against texting and driving, UF survey finds

UF student Andrea Conedera is afraid for her life when her friend drives with her knees so she can text.

The 23-year-old civil engineering fifth-year is like 95 percent of Floridian respondents who support a ban against texting and driving, according to a new poll conducted by the Bob Graham Center for Public Service and the UF Bureau of Economic and Business Research.

Emma Humphries, assistant in citizenship at the center, wrote in an email that this is the first time the center has conducted a public opinion poll regarding legislative issues in Florida.

Humphries wrote that in a monthly survey of Floridians, the center asked if people support a bill that would ban texting while driving.

She wrote that only 4 percent of respondents opposed the bill.

Both the Florida House of Representatives and Senate are reviewing the bill, which would create a ban on texting while driving. The legislation would allow local police officers to ticket drivers for texting but only if they were pulled over for another offense first.

Humphries wrote, living battleground state, it is not particularly common for an overwhelming majority of Floridians to agree on a public policy issue.

“Ninety-five percent support for a ban on texting while driving sends a clear message to legislators: ‘Floridians want this ban,’” she wrote.

The random samples were taken from 371 landline phone numbers in Florida. There was a 4.92 percent margin of error, and the results were weighted by census information to get a general distribution of the state, according to a press release.

The survey did not include cellphone numbers. Sixty-two percent of all households in Florida have a landline and 52.5 percent have both a landline and wireless phone, according to the press release.

Conedera said people should support the ban because it is helping to keep everyone safe.

“Texting while driving is a general hazard that can and should be avoided,” she said. “It is not necessary when you can tap on a headset and have a conversation.”

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