Ok, let’s get this straight.
A recent ordinance passed by a majority of the Tampa City Council prohibits drivers from blasting their music so loud the ground shakes…along with windows, street lights, puppies and any hearing person who is within fifty feet of the steroid, er, stereo speakers installed in the offending automobile.
“The reason for the passage of the ordinance, according to Tampa Police Major Diane-Hobley a strong supporter of the ordinance – is to “Improve the quality of life for our citizens.”
The ordinance has teeth.
Fines are $150 for a first offense, $300 for a second offense and $450 for a third offense.
And nobody has been hurt, unless they have a blown ear drum, or a run-away puppy. So there are no medical bills insurance entanglements or police sheets to worry about.
Okay. Problem of the rolling boom boxes solved.
Then, a recent law passed by the legislature of the State of Florida. prohibits texting while driving….if that sort of distracted driving is a ‘secondary violation.’
The law has no teeth.
The penalty for a first time texting while driving offense is $30 – and a non-moving violation .
The second offense would cost the cell-packing offender a whopping $60, and whoopie…. three points added to their driving license if they are caught texting while driving again within five years.
In addition, the distracted driver can only be cited, and/or fined if they have been texting while practicing another offense such as careless driving, speeding, using their feet to steer the car, or hitting another vehicle or, heaven forbid…a pedestrian, or as we have come be known by these digitally crazed people, the roadkill du jour.
One would assume then, if the distracted driver who has been pulled over for texting and driving, they have already been careening between lanes, speeding way over the limit, steering with their feet, hitting another vehicle, a wild and crazy run-away boar or a biped, the other white meat.
Thus, there would probably be insurance entanglement, medical bills, a police sheet and points affixed to the driving record
The reason for the passage of this bare-boned so called distracted driving law is because many of the legislators got so tired of listening to the few legislators in Tallahassee who don’t text while passing state laws, that they decided to give in to the sponsor of the bill, State Senator, Nancy Detert and came up with a masterful stroke of, well…distracted legislation.
There is only one solution to this woeful situation.
Woeful if you’ve been hit by one of these digital road rangers,be it on foot, astride a bike or walking.
And that solution is to get the Tampa City Council to pass our own Texting While Driving Ban-Offensense Law -Thing-With–Teeth.
Put stiff fines behind it, at least as much as having their radios turned too high, and, oh yeah, make it a jail term if they have been driving with their feet while texting.
That’ll show ’em.