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Florida Officials Continue Fight Against Distracted Driving

The “Minor Traffic Safety Act,” or Senate Bill 152, is looking to stop teen drivers in the state of Florida from making phone calls or text messaging behind the wheel.

According to the TC Palm, the bill could potentially suspend a teenager’s driver’s license for a month if they’re busted driving while engaging in any of these activities.
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There’s controversy on both sides. Many believe that this law will serve as an excellent deterrent for young drivers. Others believe that it’s not even going to phase them and that these young drivers will continue to call and text behind the wheel regardless.

Our Delray Beach car accident lawyers understand that Florida continues to be one of the only states left in the country that has yet to enact any kind of law to ban these electronic devices behind the wheel. Many bills have been proposed, but each has failed to become law.

Democratic state Sen. Darren Soto, of Orlando, recently introduced a bill that would force a driver who killed someone while texting to face a vehicular homicide charge.

“I was horrified to find out that right now there is no stated penalty for that,” said Soto.

According to 13NEWS, a House transportation subcommittee recently voted on a bill that would make text messaging while driving a secondary offense. It might not be the strongest law on the books, but it’s a step in the right direction. If a driver is busted text messaging while driving, after getting pulled over for another offense, then he could be slapped with a fine of $30.

But is that enough? Are Florida drivers ready to put down the phone, or are they willing to hand over that fee to use it while driving? Many believe that we’re going to need stricter penalties and consequences to get drivers to hang up and stop texting.

Opponents argue such laws infringe on residents’ privacy, and that it’s no business of government to monitor what drivers are doing. Dangerous driving habits should be a concern for everyone though. What you do on your own time is fine, but when you’re endangering an innocent person, it should be everyone’s concern.

As it stands now, there are eight distracted driving bills in the state’s Legislature.

Distracted driving continues to kill. According to Distraction.gov, there were more than 3,000 people killed in distracted driving car accidents in the U.S. in 2011. This is a number that’s been on the rise for quite some time now. More than 10 percent of all drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted.

If you or someone in your family has been the injured or killed in a car accident, contact Freeman, Mallard, Sharp, & Gonzalez at 1-800-561-7777 for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights.

More Blog Entries:

Attention South Florida Drivers: Hands-Free Devices May Be No Safer
March 5, 2013

Broward Injury Watch: Teen Driver Deaths on the Rise Nationwide
March 1, 2013

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