The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles recently released preliminary data indicating that 4,841 of the traffic crashes that occurred in 2012 involved a driver using an electronic communication device. Using such a device significantly increases the chances of a car accident occurring and lawmakers in Florida have tried several times to get a law passed that would ban texting and driving. Unfortunately, past efforts have been unsuccessful.
Our West Palm Beach Car Accident lawyers know that Florida is one of a minority of states that doesn’t have a statewide ban on texting and driving, as more than 39 other states within the U.S. have some type of ban in place. Hopefully, however, this will be changing soon. This April, which also happens to be Distracted Driving Month, the bill is moving forward.
Update on Florida’s Distracted Driving Law
A bill on texting and driving is moving through both the Florida House and the Florida Senate. Local 10 recently reported that the House Economics Committee cleared the distracted driving bill- HB 13- by a 16-1 vote. At the same time, the companion bill in the Senate- SB 52- is also moving along.
Having cleared the House Economics Committee, HB 13 is now moving to the floor for debate and for a vote. SB 52 is also going to move towards the full senate for a vote.
The bills would make texting and driving a secondary offense, which means that a driver who is texting cannot get pulled over unless he is also breaking some other primary offense law such as speeding or running a red light. If a texting driver is stopped and ticketed, the driver would be fined $30.00. If a driver offended again and was caught two or more times within a five year period, the texting driver would be fined $60 and would get three points on his or her driver’s license. Finally, if a driver was texting and was involved in a car accident, the driver would get six points on his or her license.
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