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Texting Ban Set to Become Law in Florida

The state of Florida could soon become the 40th state to ban texting while driving, according to the South Florida Business Journal.
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“By passing a law banning texting while driving, Florida continues the momentum in statehouses across the country to address this dangerous form of driver distraction,” said Kevin Bakewell with the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

Our Port St. Lucie car accident lawyers understand that the bill has one more stop before becoming official. It must win the signature of Gov. Rick Scott. The legislation sponsored by Sen. Nancy Deter, R-Venice (SB 52) makes texting, instant messaging and emailing illegal behind the wheel. Unfortunately this is only considered a secondary offense, meaning that a driver must be stopped for a prior offense before getting a citation for driving while engaging in these distractions.

“The bill is long overdue,” House Minority Leader Sen. Chris Smith, D-Fort Lauderdale, told Tampabay.com. “We’ve lost too many young people, too many people in general.”

The only person to raise a vote against this bill in the House was Republican Sen. Joe Negron of Stuart.

Upon approving it, officials also decided to add provision allowing police to obtain a driver’s cell phone records when an accident results in personal injury or death.

Lawmakers have failed to pass similar measures each year since 2006.

As we continue to lose thousands on our roadways because of these dangerous driving habits, it’s time to step up and make the change. There were close to 3,500 people killed in distracted driving car accidents in the U.S. in 2011, according to distraction.gov.

But officials think that there were a lot more than that, since these accident causes are tough to determine. A driver isn’t likely to admit that it was distraction that lead to an accident.

This is unfortunately a problem that’s getting worse with each passing day. As technology becomes more readily available, it gets easier for drivers to engage in these distractions and taker their eyes off the road.

Law or not, you know right from wrong. It’s important that you’re on your best behavior behind the wheel at all times. If you’ve got a phone call or a text message to deal with, make sure you pull your car over and come to a complete stop in a safe area before handling your business. If it’s urgent, you can even hand over the duties to a passenger to handle. Whatever you do — don’t take your attention off of driving — it could wind up being a fatal mistake.

If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident, call Freeman, Mallard, Sharp & Gonzalez — 1-800-561-7777 for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights.

More Blog Entries:

NHTSA Targets Automakers in Distracted Driving War, Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney Blog, May 7, 2013

NHTSA Targets Automakers in Distracted Driving War, Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney Blog, May 7, 2013

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