JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Local motorists will be seeing a smashed car involved in an accident around town the next few months, along with a sign saying "STOP THE TEXTS, STOP THE WRECKS."
It is part of a new campaign by the Jacksonville Association of Firefighters and Firefighter Charities to put and end to the dangerous practice of texting while driving.
"Firefighters go to too many of these accidents," says JFAA President Randy Wyse. "We want to see less of them, and get people off their phones while driving."
Firefighters responded to 7,684 automobile accidents in 2012, some of them do doubt caused by drivers being distracted. Texting is now the number on distraction for drivers.
The firefighters will put their car and sign in front of high schools and other locations over the next few months to draw attention to the problem. Their message, KEEP ALIVE, DON'T TEXT AND DRIVE.
According to statistics on the firefighters website, a driver is 23% more likely to be involved in a crash while texting, and six times more likely to cause a crash while texting than driving while intoxicated.
A new Florida law takes effect on October 1st making it illegal to text or email while driving. It is a secondary offense, meaning you would have to be pulled over for another driving violation to get ticketed. A first offense calls for a fine of $30 plus court costs, the second offense is $60 plus court costs.