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.