There are only 15 states that have yet to make it illegal for drivers to send and receive text messages while operating a motor vehicle. According to The St. Augustine Record, there’s a small chance that lawmakers in the state could enact such a ban during the 60-day legislative session that will start in the beginning 2012. Experts are still split on whether these types of bans will actually help make our roadways safer. Distraction-related car accidents in Miramar and elsewhere took the lives of almost 3,100 people in 2010.
Last week, a couple of Florida state senators brought the argument back to life after they approved a proposal to make texting and driving illegal in Florida. This happened at the measure’s first committee hearing. This proposal was sponsored by Sen. Nancy Detert, R-Venice, She’s proposing this offense to be a secondary offense, meaning that an officer would have to pull over a driver for another infraction before being able to slam a driver with a citation for texting at the wheel.
Our Miramar car accident attorneys understand that a number of proposed bans have failed in our state throughout the years even though the public largely supports these types of laws. They’re usually pushed out by Republican lawmakers who believe that these types of laws serve as an affront to personal liberty. The bottom line is that distractions, whether they’re cell phones or text messaging devices, pose potentially deadly consequences.
Detert is proposing this anti-texting law for the third time. It’s what she calls a “no-brainer.” Although she is still a supporter of small government, she feels that the bill, SB416, is more important than privacy concerns. Safety should always override privacy, says Detert.
“I am a big fan of personal freedom…as long as you’re not taking me out with you,” she Detert.
The bill was moved up by a 10-0 vote. Some lawmakers admitted that they were going to vote against it, but after heading Detert’s side they chose to back it. Under this bill, drivers would still be allowed to use these devices at red lights. Drivers would also still be allowed to dial a phone number, talk on the phone or use a GPS while driving. They just wouldn’t be allowed to text message.
If the bill took effect and texting was illegal at the wheel, drivers would get a $30 fine for the first offense and both a $60 fine and three points on their driver’s license for a second offense. Six points would be put on a driver’s license if the use of one of these devices resulted in an accident.
There are 35 states that ban drivers from text messaging at the wheel. Other states have enacted laws to govern the use of these devices among specific age groups. Still, Florida has zero laws on the books.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a traffic accident with a distracted driver in Miramar, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach or the surrounding areas, contact the personal injury lawyers at Freeman, Mallard, Sharp & Gonzalez. Call for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights at 1-800-529-2368.
More Blog Entries:
Lawmakers Push for Stricter Texting Laws to Reduce Risks for Car Accidents in Lake Worth and Elsewhere, Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney Blog, December 15, 2011
MADD’s 5th Anniversary Campaign to Reduce Risks of Holiday Drunk-Driving Accidents in Greenacres, Nation, Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney Blog, December 10, 2011