Sarasota Deputies share photo of distracted driver


SARASOTA COUNTY – Vehicle crashes on the Suncoast due to distracted drivers are becoming a virtual daily occurrence.

A photo of a driver on U.S. 301 last week is being touted by the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office as a wake-up call about the dangers of distracted driving.

Deputies say last week a deputy spotted a driver in a red vehicle traveling about 50 M.P.H. while reading an iPad and not wearing a seatbelt while driving on wet pavement.

The deputy was riding in the passenger seat along with another deputy in a clearly marked Sheriff’s office truck.

Yet, this distracted driver did not even see them, despite repeated attempts to get his attention away from his device.

Eventually, the driver saw them, and quickly put the iPad down and put on a seat belt.

Officials say since the Sarasota County deputy spotted the man in Manatee County outside their jurisdiction, they didn’t cite him. Instead they let him go with a warning, but it could’ve been very dangerous.

The Florida Highway Patrol has been warning about distracted drivers, too.

Troopers say a 22-year-old man was charged with careless driving after causing an injury accident this week on Fruitville Road because he was distracted by a cell phone.

Officials are using the iPad photo as a reminder to drivers about the dangers of distracted driving.

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Ben Bobick
Ben Bobick is a multimedia journalist from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is a May 2016 graduate of Penn State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Broadcast Journalism and a Sports Journalism Certificate from the John C. Curley Center for Sports Journalism. At Penn State, Ben hosted a radio show four days a week and was a member of the Emmy Award winning student-run newscast, the Centre County Report where he was a sports anchor and reporter. Ben was also part of the inaugural class of the Penn State Hollywood Program. He interned for KABC-TV in Los Angeles as an entertainment intern. He had the opportunity to interview Grammy award winning artist Kendrick Lamar, Fifth Harmony, Jennifer Garner and the season 22 cast of Dancing with the Stars among others. In his spare time, Ben loves to watch and play sports. Being from Pittsburgh, he’s a big Steelers, Pirates and Penguins fan. Ben is an avid golfer and loves to hit the course any time he can. For story ideas or a news tip you can get in touch by e-mailing him at