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Jax Firefighters Campaign To Stop Texting While Driving

It's a graphic way to call attention to the dangers of texting and driving — a smashed car that was involved in a local accident is being placed in front of Jacksonville area high schools and other spots around town over the next few months.

It’s part of a new campaign by the Jacksonville Association of Firefighters to put an end to the deadly practice of texting behind the wheel.

The campaign is called, "STOP THE TEXTS, STOP THE WRECKS," says Randy Wyse, President of the JFAA.

"Firefighters go to these accidents every single day," says Wyse. "We want to get the message out, just how dangerous this is."

Texting is the number one cause of distracted driving accidents. In fact, statistically it's more dangerous to text and drive than it is to drink and drive.

Meanwhile, A new Florida law takes effect on October 1 making it illegal to text or email while driving. It's a secondary offense, meaning drivers first 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.

"Anything that deters drivers from texting is good," says Wyse. "This law will save lives."

Melissa Ross joined WJCT in 2009 with 20 years of experience in broadcasting, including stints in Cincinnati, Chicago, Orlando and Jacksonville. During her career as a television and radio news anchor and reporter, Melissa has won four regional Emmys for news and feature reporting.