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New Florida Bill Set to Ban Texting While Driving

Distracted Driving Targeted by new Florida Bill

A new bill is set to make texting while driving a primary offense in Florida is well on its way to being put into practice. The bill HB 107 was passed by the Florida House late Monday afternoon and is headed to the governor’s desk for his signature. One of the main points of the bill is that texting will now be considered a primary offense in the state of Florida which means that law enforcement is now able to pull over texting drivers. The bill stipulates that officers must also tell drivers that they do have the right to decline a phone search when there is no warrant.

Florida Bill HB 107 and Texting While Driving Offenses

Florida is now the 44th state in the country to enact legislation that bans texting while driving. The bill was passed Monday 108-7 in the Florida House after a longtime push from many groups to make texting while driving a primary offense. Before this bill, texting while driving was considered a secondary offense meaning law enforcement could not pull you over for texting alone. However, drivers that are pulled over for something else such as running a red light can be cited for texting while driving in addition to the other infraction.

Only warnings will be given until January when officers can write citations. A first offense can result in a $30 fine with second offenses resulting in a $60 fine. Court costs and fees also will apply. There are some exceptions in regard to the bill. Drivers will be able to communicate using hands-free settings on their devices. Drivers will also be able to use their GPS navigation apps with the caveat that they are on hand’s free mode as well.

Texting and Driving a Longtime Scourge in Florida

Most people are aware of how devastating texting and driving is not just here in Florida but across the entire country. It should not come as a surprise that there has been so much overwhelming support for increased restrictions on texting and driving on Florida’s roads that have culminated in this new bill being passed. When it comes to texting and driving, the death tolls tend to make other accident caused dwarf in comparison. The National Safety Council reports that cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes each year. In terms of distracted driving, Florida is considered among the worst states.

Texting and driving is one of the many behaviors that compose major acts of distracted driving. When someone texts and drives, they not only put themselves at risk but their fellow drivers as well since their attention is split between the road and typing into their cellular device. Some people like to boast that they can drive fine while texting since they can multitask. This is a common myth that has been long disproven. It has been found that human cognitive function doesn’t evenly split between two activities like some would like to think. People’s brains simply jump back and forth from two different activities rapidly with the effectiveness of both suffering. In addition to the reduced attentiveness to the road caused by texting and driving, general perception goes down as well when someone is paying attention to a phone screen instead of the front windshield.

Texting and driving is the worst offender when it comes to common acts of distracted driving but as time has gone on, smartphone use, in general, has created more complex acts of distracted driving. Smartphones have become essential parts of many people’s lives affording a plethora of apps that can do anything from taking pictures to ordering pizza. Of all of these apps, one of the most commonly used types is social media apps. Social media is used in some capacity by an overwhelming amount of people across the world and the number of users is only going to grow along with the different kinds of social media available. People have gone from just using Facebook to post updates to utilizing a number of platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. These social media applications provide countless opportunities for people to become distracted when they utilize them while driving when they use the messaging features that most of these apps have as well as when they browse through their social media feeds.

As time goes on, Florida laws will have to ensure that they stay with the times and account for the various ways people use their smartphones while driving. Texting while driving alone is no longer how smartphones factor into causing car accidents. Use of social media while driving is now a major cause as well in addition to other smartphone uses such as browsing the internet, switching music, navigating, etc. With more complex forms of smartphone use come more distracted driving opportunities to cause dangerous accidents.

Seek an Experienced Distracted Driver Car Accident Attorney

Suffering an injury at the hands of a distracted driver can rack up medical expenses, lost wages, and many other costs that deserve compensation. Consider Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA as your legal representation in your pursuit of compensation with a car accident claim. Our lawyers have the experience needed to ensure that your case receives the best chance of success so that you can focus on recovery and getting your life back to normal.

If you were involved in a car accident, our lawyers at Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA will investigate your case, and may help you obtain the compensation you need for damage done to your person and property. To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with a Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA attorney, please contact us at (727) 451-6900, contact us online, or visit us at one of our three office locations in Florida. Our lawyers are more than happy to discuss the details of your case and provide some legal options. We look forward to hearing from you and will vigorously advocate on your behalf for the compensation you deserve.

Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765
(727) 451-6900

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