Texting is one of the primary modes of communication these days. People are attached to their cell phone and like to stay connected. But texting while driving can be deadly. In 2016 alone, 3,450 people were killed by distracted drivers. That’s about 9 people per day. Because of the danger, many states across the country have laws in effect that ban texting and driving across the board. Florida technically has a law prohibiting texting while driving but it doesn’t go far enough. The Legislature will now consider a harsher ban.
Texting while driving has been prohibited in Florida since 2013, but it is currently only enforced as a secondary offense. This means that drivers can only be cited for texting if they are pulled over for other traffic infractions such as speeding or making an illegal turn. In other words, you can be driving your car down the highway at 60 mph texting away, and nothing can be done about it. The fine for texting while driving is currently only $20. This doesn’t give drivers much incentive to stop the practice.
Senate Bill 76
Senate Bill 76, known as the “Florida Ban on Wireless Devices While Driving Law,” was filed in November. The bill states that “a person may not operate a motor vehicle while manually typing or entering multiple letters, number, symbols or other characters into a wireless communication device.” The bill would prohibit drivers from texting, talking, or reading data on handheld devices. It would also make talking and texting on a phone while driving a primary offense, meaning police could pull drivers over for that offense alone.
A similar bill was proposed last legislative session. It passed the House by a vote of 112-2, but the measure never made it out ofthe Senate. Tougher legislation has been proposed in every legislative session since 2015. Hopefully, 2019 will be the year things finally change. The legislative session begins on March 5th.
Contact a Trusted Personal Injury Attorney
If you’ve been seriously injured by a distracted driver, you may need a trusted personal injury attorney on your side. The experienced attorneys at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk are here to help. Contact us online or call us at 1-800-753-5203 to set up your free consultation today.