Florida’s Ban on Texting While Driving

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On October 1st, 2013 Florida joined most other states in outlawing the use of texting while driving. SB 52 now makes it a secondary driving infraction to use your text message while you are operating a vehicle. By being a secondary infraction, a person cannot be pulled over and ticketed just for that infraction. Instead they will have to be stopped by law enforcement for another reason and then subsequently ticketed for driving while texting.

Many view this bill as just fluff that does not go far enough. Steve Augello’s daughter was killed in a car accident that was caused by a distracted driver. The person that caused the wreck was texting on his telephone and was held responsible for the automobile accident. Augello feels that the fine is not enough to discourage people to take responsibility and not text while driving. He is quoted as saying, “A $30 fine? A teenager that works at McDonalds could afford a $30 fine.”

Many State Representatives feel the same way. There is a new bill that is circulating around the floor of the State Senate right now that would make texting while driving a primary offense. This is a traffic violation where law enforcement would have the opportunity to pull over a vehicle in which the officer witnesses the driver texting while behind the wheel.

I try to leave my political views and thoughts out of everything I do as they are my personal beliefs and should not be thrust upon my readers. With that being said, I will say that as a West Palm Beach personal injury attorney I see too many accidents that are caused by distracted driving, countless injuries that could have been avoided if the driver was just paying attention to the road and not their phone. So I will close with let’s all take a little more caution on the roads. After all, these text messages can wait.

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