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Scott Signs to Ban Texting Drivers in Florida

After more than 5 years of effort, Florida has finally enacted a texting-and-driving ban. According to FOX Business, Florida Governor Rick Scott recently signed “Florida ban on texting while driving law.”

Unfortunately, this law doesn’t completely ban all drivers from using a text messaging device behind the wheel. But atleast it’s a start. What the law puts an end to is the act of manual texting while driving. It’s considered a secondary offense, meaning that an office could not pull over a driver solely for texting. They’ve first got to witness the driver breaking another road law, like speeding or running a red light, before they can be pulled over and cited for texting behind the wheel.

Our Cooper City accident lawyers understand that drivers are still unfortunately allowed to text while “a motor vehicle that is stationary is not being operated.” This means that we’re likely to see drivers still texting at red lights. So don’t expect the driver in front of you to be ready to go when the light turns green if they’re in the middle of a text.

Drivers are still allowed to take their eyes off the road for navigational purposes, such as GPS devices. Unfortunately, these devices come with the same distracted-driving consequences as text messaging devices. Drivers are also allowed to use hands-free devices still, also taking their cognitive abilities off of driving.

If these loopholes aren’t working in your favor and you’re still busted for texting behind the wheel, you’re looking at a non-moving violation and a fine of $30 (plus the costs of the courts). If it’s your second violation, drivers can expect a $60 fine (in addition to court costs), a moving violation on your record and three points slapped on your driving record.

It’s that second violation that’s going to draw some attention from your insurance provider, too. Moving violations fall under the category of speeding and red-light running and typically also come with higher premiums. Those hikes in costs will probably last you about 3 years, too.

If you’re busted texting behind the wheel while an accident happens, you’re looking at 6 points on your driver’s license. Under the new law, a driver’s phone records can be used as evidence in the event of an accident that results in injury or death.

Scott pointed out that this law was signed at the beginning of the “100 Deadliest Days” of driving for teenagers. This is the time between Memorial Day and Labor Day and serves as the most dangerous time on our roadways for newly-licensed drivers. They’re also most likely to text behind the wheel. This law is working to help keep them alive.

This law will not take effect until October 1st.

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

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Florida Drivers Have Many Resource When Choosing Car or SUV, Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney Blog, May 30, 2013

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