The state of Florida has rarely been quick to follow the rest of the country
when it comes to safety laws and regulations, so it should come as little
surprise that it took until 2013 for lawmakers in the sunshine state to
finally outlaw texting while driving. However, the law they enacted has
been called weak and largely ineffective, and the statistics that show
rising numbers of both accidents and fatalities as a result of distracted
drivers seem to back these claims up.
An Overview of Florida’s Texting Ban
Florida has outlawed the use of cell phones for texting while behind the
wheel, much like 40 other states did before it. However, Florida’s
ban is ineffective because it can’t really be enforced. The law
makes texting while driving is a secondary offense, which means driver
can’t be for texting without having a valid primary reason for being
pulled over first (i.e. speeding, expired registration, etc.).
As a result, drivers have continued to text while behind the wheel, knowing
that so long as they aren’t doing anything else wrong then they
won’t get a ticket.
According to the
Daytona Beach News Journal, only 19 texting while driving citations were given in all of Volusia
County in the year 2015. Flagler County issued only three.
New Laws Gaining Momentum
It should come as no surprise then that some new bills have begun to gain
momentum in the state legislature. Rep. Emily Slosberg, has filed two
bills which would help enforce this law more stringently. The first would
make texting and driving a primary offense and double the fine for it
in a school zone. Her other bill simply makes texting and driving a primary
offense for drivers 18 and under. Another bill, introduced by Rep. Keith
Perry, seeks to amend the language of the code to make all texting and
driving a primary offense.
Nonetheless the number of accidents that could be prevented every year
by a more stringent enforcement of texting while driving makes an update
to this law a welcome addition to Florida’s vehicle code.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving a distracted
driver, do not hesitate to seek legal counsel as soon as possible. Attorney
Lauri J. Goldstein and her esteemed team of legal professionals at
Lauri J. Goldstein & Associates take great pride in standing up for the rights of those who have been
injured, and work tirelessly to get them the compensation they deserve.
Review your legal options today! Call Lauri J. Goldstein & Associates
at 866-675-4427 and schedule an