Online Program

Banning Cell Phones While Driving in the State of Florida

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Dewan Raja, MBBS, MPHIL, MPH, CHES, Live Sciences, Palmer College of Chiropractic Florida, Port Orange, FL
Bahar Sultana, MBBS.MPH, Live Sciences, Palmer College of Chiropractic Florida, Port Orange, FL
A cell phone is the most common accessory for business people, families, students, and employees across all industries. It is a very important device for staying in touch with others. Uses of cell phones also include texting, playing music, taking pictures, and using it as a remote control for TV. A cell phone is an essential element of modern life. A cell phone may also be used to call police following an accident or any other emergency.Cell phones are the most common cause of distraction in Florida and one of the common causes of distraction leading to traffic accidents; Florida’s law regarding cell phone use has many shortcomings. About  69% of drivers in the United States ages 18-64 reported that they had talked on their cell phone while driving within the 30 days before they were surveyed.  About 31% of U.S. drivers ages 18-64 reported that they had read or sent text messages or email messages while driving at least once within the 30 days before they were surveyed (CDC, 2014). Out of 1.8 million road traffic accidents, 26% are caused by cell phone use alone. Only 12 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam, and U.S. Virgin Islands have a total ban on handheld cell phone use while driving. No state bans all cell phone use for all drivers, but 37 states and D.C. ban all cell phone use by novice or teen drivers, and 20 states and D.C. prohibit any cell phone use by school bus drivers (USA Today, 2014). According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (2015), people looking down at their cell phones, turning and crossing, changing lanes, and failing to stop at a stop sign while talking are very common scenes among drivers in the state of Florida. Handheld cell phones while driving are not prohibited in Florida. In the state of Florida, school bus drivers can use handheld cell phones. Even novice drivers aged 16–17, with intermediate driving licenses can use a handheld cell phone. There is only a secondary ban on text messaging while driving in the state of Florida. In October, 2013, Florida enacted a limited ban on text messaging while driving.We collected data from the CDC and Florida Government resources. We are presenting an advocacy plan to implement stricter cell phone laws in the State of Florida to protect public health and to prevent premature death.

Learning Areas:

Administration, management, leadership
Ethics, professional and legal requirements
Occupational health and safety
Program planning
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the cell phone laws for Florida drivers in comparison to the 50 States and U.S. territories. Explain the problem to the state representatives, congressmen, and senators

Keyword(s): Health Law, Decision-Making

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a Dr.PH student at Loma Linda University. I am an MPH from Nova Southeastern University.I am an ECFMG certified physician with over 22 years of teaching experience.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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