Much to the delight of parents and older generations, but to the dismay of many younger folks, the laws regulating texting while driving in Florida have been made stricter, largely due to the daunting correlation between deaths and texting while driving.
Texting while Driving: From Secondary Offense to Primary Offense
The laws have been advanced to the point where texting and driving is now a primary offense versus a secondary offense, and this transition is scheduled to happen on July 1, 2019. This law will bring Florida on board with 44 other states who have already qualified texting and driving as a primary offense.
Everyone knows that texting while driving isn’t ideal and that it is inherently dangerous, but in the past, little was done to enforce the action. Rick Scott signed a bill in 2013 that made Florida the 41st state to prohibit texting while driving; however, as a secondary offense, cops couldn’t pull over drivers breaking this law unless they were first violating another, more severe law, such as running a red light or rear-ending someone. Now, with texting and driving being a primary offense, officers can pull over people who are texting and driving and issue them a ticket. Additionally, this law also places more restrictions on the types of devices that can be used while a motor vehicle is travelling through a designated school crossing, school zone or road work zone.
At The Eberst Law Firm we recognize that texting while driving may be a norm for you or some of your loved ones, but we urge you to please read our entire article so that you can become more informed as to the severity of the issue and be knowledgeable about Florida’s changing state laws.
Texting and Driving Officially More Deadly than Drinking and Driving
You might ask yourself: is texting and driving really that bad to where such a strict law is needed? Commonly, people justify the behavior in their own mind by saying that it is “just one text” or “it only takes a second”. However, the statistics have been analyzed, and according to a recent article published by the Orlando Sentinel, texting while driving has become so lethal that it now kills more young people than drunk driving. TheZebra.com, a comparison website for those shopping around for car insurance, claims that texting while driving is six times more likely to cause a car accident than drunk driving. Similarly, the same article on TheZebra.com states that 40% of teen drivers said they have been in a motor vehicle when the driver used a cell phone in a way that led to a car accident. Please review our article to further read about the dangers of distracted driving.
Penalties for Texting and Driving in Florida Haven’t Changed
The penalties for texting and driving in Florida have not changed. As far as costs:
- The first violation is a $30 fine.
- The second violation is a $60 fine.
*Court costs and fees also apply and could increase the amount of the fine(s).
Additionally, drivers who are pulled over for texting and driving will also lose 3 points on their driver’s license(s).
Am I ever allowed to text while in my car in Florida?
It is legal and will still be legal to text at a stoplight or text while your vehicle is not moving. Also, it is legal to receive text messages in relation to the navigation and/or operation of your vehicle along with safety related text messages, such as Amber alerts, or emergency weather alerts.
Call The Eberst Law Firm if you’ve Been Hit by Someone who was Texting and Driving
If you have been hit by someone who was texting while driving, please call our office immediately for a consultation at 772-225-4900. We are prepared to fight for you to ensure that we recover the highest settlement possible for you from his or her insurance company. Additionally, we have the capability to recover and review the phone records for the at fault party to prove that they were on the phone at the time of the crash and make sure that there is absolutely no question with the insurance company as far as who was liable for the crash.
Sources for “Florida’s New Texting and Driving Law Explained”