“Texting while driving”: is this a habit of yours, of a close friend, or perhaps of a loved one? If your answer to this is a YES, then stay updated for texting while driving could soon be illegal here in Florida. Know the upcoming texting law.
Texting-While-Driving Ban Passes Senate
Texting-while-driving ban: It’s unanimous!
Just recently, the Texting-While-Driving Ban passed the Florida Senate by a 39-1 vote as reported by NBC 6 South Florida. The only one who voted NO for the bill was Republican Sen. Joe Negron of Stuart.
In a news article entitled, Texting While Driving Ban Passes Florida Senate, the bill that carries the said ban was identified as Senate Bill 52, sponsored by Republican Sen. Nancy Detert.
An excerpt from the said article is as follows:
“The Senate unanimously approved a bill (SB 52) Tuesday that would make texting while driving a secondary offense. That means police have to first stop drivers for an offense like speeding. A first violation would be a $30 fine plus court costs. A second or subsequent violation within five years would add three points to the driver’s license and a $60 fine.”
Texting-while-driving ban: Applicability
It is also good to note that “Detert’s bill does not apply to texting while stopped at a red light or parked on a road side. [Thus] use of voice-activated messaging would be allowed”, according to TBO.com.
However after the said Senate approval, an amendment was made requiring it to come back to the Senate.
“The House approved it earlier this week but added a provision allowing police to use drivers’ mobile phone records against them only when texting causes a crash resulting in death or personal injury. That change required it to come back to the Senate.” — from the news article Florida Lawmakers Pass Texting-While-Driving Ban.
According to TBO.com, the said amendment was done by Rep. Jose Oliva, R-Miami Lakes.
“Detert didn’t like the amendment — fearing drivers in routine cases would simply deny texting, and beat the rap in court for lack of evidence — but she accepted the change rather than see her bill die.”
Texting-While-Driving Ban: from a Bill to becoming a Law
Ban on texting while driving may be law soon in Florida (ABC Action News)
As reported by ABC Action News (shown in the video), Gov. Rick Scott has two weeks to decide on the texting bill which is hoped to be positive since his wife was recently in an accident with a texting-while-driving driver.
If Gov. Scott signs, the law would become effective on October 1 and would make Florida the 40th state to implement a ban on texting, emailing or instant messaging while driving (bizjournals.com).
Texting and Driving Statistics
So what makes the upcoming Florida upcoming law significant? Well, it is obvious that the law will promote road safety. However, just to let you know here are some texting while driving facts taken from textinganddrivingsafety.com:
“Texting while driving is a growing trend, and a national epidemic, quickly becoming one of the country’s top killers. Drivers assume they can handle texting while driving and remain safe, but the numbers don’t lie.”
Texting While Driving Causes:
1. 1,600,000 accidents per year – National Safety Council
2. 330,000 injuries per year – Harvard Center for Risk Analysis Study
3. 11 teen deaths EVERY DAY – Ins. Institute for Hwy Safety Fatality Facts
4. Nearly 25% of ALL car accidents
Texting While Driving Is:
1. About 6 times more likely to cause an accident than driving intoxicated
2. The same as driving after 4 beers – National Hwy Transportation Safety Admin.
3. The number one driving distraction reported by teen drivers
Texting While Driving:
1. Makes you 23X more likely to crash – National Hwy Transportation Safety Admin.
2. Is the same as driving blind for 5 seconds at a time – VA. Tech Transportation Institute
3. Takes place by 800,000 drivers at any given time across the country
4. Slows your brake reaction speed by 18% – HumanFactors & Ergonomics Society
5. Leads to a 400% increase with eyes off the road
When Caught for Texting-While-Driving Violation
While the dangers of texting while driving are quite obvious, changing a long time habit can also be difficult. We have been used to doing things even on-the-move, which unfortunately includes texting while driving. For a man of the modern world, this will surely be hard to avoid. So when faced with the texting-while-driving violation (before you can get rid of such habit), seek for professional help. The first violation penalty may seem to be light but don’t take it easy. Remember that the second or subsequent violation within five years would add points to the driver’s license. Don’t let your driving record be blotted. Don’t let your points get accumulated. Talk to our finest and highly experienced traffic ticket lawyers.
Call us at 305-LAW-FIRM or contact us to schedule an appointment.