• Pressure mounting to ban texting while driving in Fla.


    FLORIDA - Pressure is mounting Wednesday to ban texting while driving in Florida.

    Florida is one of 11 states where it's still legal.

    Many cellphone users become distracted with conversation and are glued to their text messages.

    WFTV counted 30 drivers on their phones or texting in just 10 minutes.

    Shirley Lynch was not one of those drivers. Her state has a cellphone ban and she's still following the rules while visiting Florida.

    "It's not worth your life to talk on your cellphone," said Lynch.

    The federal government and states like Florida have yet to implement a recommendation made six months ago by the National Transportation Safety Board banning all cellphone use, including texting.

    We've issued 13,000 recommendations and about 80 percent of them do get accepted. But, I think this one is a real challenging one," said NTSB Chairman Debbie Hersman. "We've got to put the attention back in the driver's seat."

    WFTV asked the NTSB if the government would consider holding back federal transportation dollars if states like Florida didn't implement the recommendation.

    The NTSB said there are no discussions about taking that kind of action yet, but the government has in the past.

    "Things like the .08 blood-alcohol level for drunk driving, that was tied to federal funds, so it has been done," Hersman said.

    Last week, Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood called on Florida to change its laws, and for automakers to change vehicles to cut down on distracted driving.

    He also urged Congress to pass federal legislation.

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    Pressure mounting to ban texting while driving in Fla.