Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Texting and Driving in Florida

April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) and its division of the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) launched a campaign aimed at educating Florida motorists on the importance of avoiding distracted driving, and is informing motorists of current laws against distracted driving. According to FLHSMV data, distracted driving crashes resulted in 333 fatalities in 2021 – the highest recorded in Florida in at least 8 years. On average, there were more than 1,000 distracted driving crashes every week across our state last year. For additional data information, visit FLHSMV’s Distracted Driving Crash Dashboard.

Safety Tips for Driving

  • Pull over to text.
  • Designate your passenger as your “designated texter.”
  • Do not engage in social media scrolling or messaging while driving.
  • Activate your phone’s “Do Not Disturb” feature, or put your cell phone in the trunk, glove box, or back seat of your vehicle until you arrive at your destination.

Remember:

  • Just because other people do it doesn’t mean texting and driving is “normal” behavior.
  • In 48 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, texting while driving is an illegal, ticketable offense. You could end up paying a hefty fine and get points on your license.

For more information, including safe driving tips, information on Florida’s Wireless Communications While Driving Law, and downloadable resources, visit FLHSMV’s Distracted Driving webpage.

Child Abuse Awareness Month

During the month of April, Prevent Child Abuse Florida, in collaboration with DCF and the Ounce of Prevention Fund of Florida, implements Pinwheels for Prevention, a statewide coordinated campaign to raise awareness of child abuse prevention efforts by focusing on healthy child development and support for parents. Child advocates plant blue and silver pinwheel gardens in communities throughout the state to represent the positive healthy childhoods all children deserve. On April 1, Governor Ron DeSantis issued a proclamation recognizing April as Child Abuse Prevention Month in Florida.

Hit and Run Kills Pedestrian in Belle Glade

Another hit and run crash reported in our local area, this following hit and run in Hendry County over the weekend. Palm Beach County deputies are searching for the driver who hit and killed an 87-year-old man overnight Monday in Belle Glade, then left the scene. The crash happened at around 2:35 yesterday morning. PBSO said a maroon-colored vehicle believed to be a truck, was traveling north near the 150 block of State Road 715 around 2:30 a.m. and crashed into the man who was standing in the northbound lane. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. Nor the victim or the vehicle has been identified as of this morning. If you have any information that can help detectives, call Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Sean Ramsey at 561-681-4540, ramseys@pbso.org, or Crime Stoppers of Palm Beach County at 1-800-458-TIPS.

Local Agencies Help Arrest Dozens in Drug Bust

Glades and Hendry County Sheriff Deputies worked with other agencies to take down 27 alleged drug traffickers in Southwest Florida. This extensive undercover operation began in Cape Coral, and was found to have ties throughout Lee and Collier Counties. State Attorney Amira Fox says in addition to the arrests, a dangerous number of drugs were taken off the street. The investigation started 2 years ago. Fox says, the result is the dismantling of long-term organized crime enterprises through cooperative efforts of local and state agencies.

The LaBelle Civic Center will be the home of a job fair on Wednesday April 6 from 3 to 6 pm. Some area employers include RCMA, ACT, Camelot Community Care, The Florida Department of Health and more.