Fact Check

Miami-Dade to Create Freeway 'Texting Lane' to Accommodate Millenial Drivers

An article that reported that Florida highways would be getting special lanes to accommodate people sending text messages originated from an entertainment and satire web site.

Published May 24, 2016

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Miami-Dade County announced plans to create "texting lanes" on its highways.

On 23 May 2016, the entertainment web site The Plantain published a fake news article claiming that Miami-Dade County had announced plans to create "texting lanes" on its highways:

The Miami Dade Expressway Authority (MDX) announced today that it has plans to create a bumpered "texting lane" along the Dolphin Expressway.

"This is a necessary step we must take as a community to ensure public safety," said MDX spokeswoman Anne Hinga, noting that educational campaigns about the dangers of texting while driving have failed to curb the ubiquitous behavior.

“Our roads are filled with millennials raised in front of a cellphone screen. We cannot realistically expect these young drivers not to text and drive," said Ms. Hinga. "The bumpered texting lane is our attempt to mitigate the dangers of texting while driving and is a plan that we believe will save thousands of lives."

There is no truth to the above-quoted article. Miami-Dade has made no announcements regarding the creation of "texting lanes" on its highways, and The Plantain is a satirical web site that does not publish factual articles:

Miami's Like Most Super News Source, Bro.

The Plantain is Miami's preeminent satirical news outlet. You're probably reading some posts and coming up with your own ideas for fake news stories about Miami. Well, please email ideas or fully developed articles to theplantainanswers@gmail.com. This website was created as a labor of love and is not a business and is hardly a hobby, so please don't expect to get paid.

While Florida has not decided to build "texting lanes" on its highways, as of May 2016 it is one of the only states that does not treat texting while driving as a primary offense:

“Texting while driving is destroying lives every day. We need to address the disturbing reality that texting while driving makes the likelihood of a crash 23 times greater,” affirms Commissioner Sosa.

As of July 2015, 46 states have banned texting while driving. Florida is among the five states that do not enforce texting while driving as a primary offense, but instead as a secondary offense. Local governments, including Miami-Dade County, are preempted by the State from regulating the use of electronic communications devices in motor vehicles.

Dan Evon is a former writer for Snopes.

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