|Published:||Feb 09, 2011 5:29 PM EST|
|Updated:||Feb 09, 2011 1:25 PM EST|
FORT MYERS, Fla.-- The National Transportation Safety Board says it's time for Florida to advance its lagging highway safety status in the U.S.
Florida is on the NTSB's most wanted list for needed safety improvements.
Top among them, implementing a tougher booster seat law.
Speaking Wednesday in Tallahassee, NTSB Chair Deborah Hersman encouraged state lawmakers to enact laws requiring booster seats for young children up to age eight.
Currently, Florida is one of only three states without a booster seat law.
Hersman also wants Florida officers to step up enforcement of the primary seat belt law.
Florida is one of 19 states where officers can stop a driver and issue a seat belt citation without observing another offense first.
She hopes to curb distracted driving on Florida roadways by prohibiting cell phone use for teen drivers.
The state is one of 20 with no restrictions on talking or texting on the phone while driving.
But the Florida Highway Patrol is on the right track.
Last year, it implemented a policy banning on-duty troopers from using a cell phone while driving without using a hands free device.
Despite being on the NTSB's Most Wanted list for safety improvements, Florida actually saw a decrease in roadway deaths last year.
The Florida Department of Highway Safety reports that 2,430 people were killed on the state's roadways last year.
That's 133 fewer people than in 2009.
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