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VIDEO: Neighbors raise concerns about distracted driving in NW Tallahassee

Posted at 6:54 PM, Feb 20, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-20 18:54:33-05
  • Fatalities and serious injuries from distracted driving have seen a year-to-year increase according to the most recent data from FLHSMV.
  • Law enforcement are focused on education and enforcement to address neighbors concerns about distracted driving, says Florida Highway Patrol.
  • Watch the video to find out what resources you have available and how law enforcement are working to keep you safe.


Notifications can turn dangerous on our neighborhood roads.

People living here say distracted driving is a problem, how law enforcement is keeping you safe.

"It's extremely dangerous, and it's a concern, it should be a concern for everybody," said Rick Warshaw, Northwest Tallahassee resident.

"I'm extra cautious when I'm driving in traffic," said Warshaw.

Warshaw said he has noticed cars weaving on the road. When he looks over at a red light, he said he often sees they're on their phone.

"I've had it happen on the interstate doing 75 mph," said Warshaw.

Although he said distracted driving is a concern for him in Leon County, he said he has seen worse.

"It's bad, but it's not as bad as other places I've been," said Warshaw.

Take a look at some data from the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Comparing 2021 and 2022 data, the number of total crashes decreased but the number of fatalities and serious injuries increased in Leon County. Flordia Highway Patrol said 2023 data has not yet been published. In 2024, there have been 25 crashes so far.

The most recent data from the Tallahassee Police Department shows 7 written warnings and 3 citations have been issued in the past six months.

"The prevalence of it probably has increased some just in the sense that everybody does have a cell phone at this point," said Lieutenant Jim Beauford with Florida Highway Patrol. He said he has personally experienced people texting and driving.

"I've almost been hit by one while working a crash," said Lieutenant Beauford.

He said they are very cognizant of distracted driving because of the dangers.

"They'll take enforcement action on them, they'll pull them over, they'll try to educate the driver on the dangers of texting and driving," said Beauford.

He said education is a key tool they use to address distracted driving.

"It's not just the time you take your eyes off the road, it's the additional response time as well," said Beauford.

Lieutenant Beauford said they host education campaigns to reach more people, along with other local law enforcement agencies in who use social media to inform citizens.

"Anyone that we can prevent from doing it in the first place, is much better than anyone we catch doing it," said Beauford.

If you have questions about texting and driving, Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles have many resources online. Lieutenant Beauford said April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Angela Sherrod, with the Leon County Sheriff's Office said residents can submit concerns and requests for extra patrols and that their traffic unit is committed to addressing complaints promptly.