Texting while driving banned in Florida effective October 1st

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As of October 1st, it will be against the law to text while you are driving in the State of Florida. All of us here at Edwards & Ragatz, P.A. want to make sure everyone is aware of the new law, and is aware of the dangers of distracted driving.

© stocknroll According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), texting while driving is the most alarming distraction of all because it not only takes your eyes off the road, but it also occupies your hands and your mind. Studies show sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 4.6 seconds. If you are driving at 55 miles per hour, that is enough time to drive the length of an entire football field “ blindfolded.

Distracted driving has always been an issue . People who drive while distracted “ by texting, cell phone use, or any number of other activities “ are stopped frequently for driving erratically and can be cited for careless driving under current laws

 Related Post: Texting & Driving the new Drinking & Driving- At least for teens 

Florida will become the 41st state to prohibit texting while driving for all motorists. But unlike the majority of those states, the law will be a secondary offense. If you are stopped for another infraction, such as speeding, failing to signal for a turn or running a stop sign, as of October 1st you may also receive a citation for texting if you are engaged in that activity at the time of the stop. The fine for the citation will be $30. As passed by the Florida legislature, it is a secondary offense “ meaning you must be stopped for another infraction. In addition, the law does not make it illegal to text while a vehicle is stationary.

Even under the ban, drivers will still be permitted to use their phones under some circumstances. For example, drivers will continue to be able use their phones to obtain emergency  information, such as weather and traffic alerts. The ban also does not apply to the use of phones as navigation devices.   The new law does allow for authorities to review cellular phone records when an accident results in death or personal injury. In such a case, evidence of texting while driving will be some evidence of negligence. Police officers, however, cannot require the driver hand over a cell phone at the time of the accident to verify that the driver was texting.

 Previous Blogs

Feb 13, 2013- Technically there is nothing stopping you from texting and driving…yet

Dec 20, 2012- Texting and Driving Soon to be Illegal in Fla? 

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