Wednesday, November 28, 2012

CCSO, Community Launch Major Effort To Ban Texting While Driving

The Collier County Sheriff’s Office is giving a voice to people who want to see texting while driving banned in Florida.

“Stop Texting & Driving” is a community-based, grass roots movement to address the growing demand for Florida to join the 39 states that have declared it illegal for drivers to text behind the wheel.

“Members of our community tell me almost daily that they want texting and driving to be illegal in Florida,” said Sheriff Kevin Rambosk. “We are partnering with them to help make this law a reality.”

Sheriff Rambosk is asking those who want anti-texting legislation to sign a call to action form at Sheriff Rambosk will present the signatures to the Collier County Legislative Delegation and to the Florida Legislature during the upcoming session.

CCSO is also inviting community members to share their texting and driving experiences. Do you know someone who was in a crash as a result of someone texting? Did you have a close call that convinced you to stop texting while you’re behind the wheel? Whatever it is, we want to hear it. Your story matters. You can tell us on Facebook,, on our website or e-mail it to

For the first week of the campaign, visitors to the agency’s website will see that the entire home page is a special site devoted to anti texting and driving information. The site connects visitors with anti-texting resources including the pledge and public service announcements. It will also offer statistics, including the fact that text-messaging while driving increases the likelihood of a crash by up to 23 times.

CCSO also produced public service announcements in-house and distributed them to the media.

“I am asking the media to partner with us and with our community to keep our roads safe,” Sheriff Rambosk said.

For those who want to display their support for anti-texting legislation, CCSO’s Crime Prevention Unit will provide red wristbands that carry the words, “I won’t text and drive” at community functions and homeowner association meetings. In addition, CCSO Youth Relations Bureau deputies will be distributing the wristbands to students in driver education class as part of a presentation on the danger of texting while driving.

Sheriff Rambosk has partnered in the past and continues to partner with professional race car driver Michael Cenzi to educate the community about the perils of texting behind the wheel. Now, Naples resident Kristin Murphy is joining them. Murphy’s daughter, Chelsey, was 19 and pregnant with her first child when she was struck and killed by a driver who was talking on the phone when he hit her on U.S. 41 East in East Naples in 2010.