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Governor Rick Scott Signs Bill Banning Texting-While-Driving in Florida

Just yesterday Florida Governor Rick Scott signed a bill banning texting-while-driving within the state. The ban traveled a long and rough road through the cautious state Legislature, but the governor believes it will now serve to make Florida roadways a bit safer. The law will take effect on October 1. Texting-while-driving is considered a secondary offense under the law, meaning that officers can only ticket a driver for texting-while-driving if the officer pulled the driver over for another primary offense.

Scott believes that it was important to sign this law before the summer began because “the 100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day are known as the deadliest days on the road for teenagers.” Florida is now the 41st state to ban texting-while-driving for all drivers. Among these states, Florida is one of only four that consider texting-while-driving a secondary offense. Six additional states have bans, but they apply to drivers under the age of 21 or those with learner’s permits. Three states have no bans.

The Florida law has a number of exemptions, including allowing drivers to use their cellular phones to check maps, listen to music, or to even text while stopped at a red light, in a traffic jam, or while parked. The law also does not ban talking on a cell phone while driving. Although the law may not be as tough as other states’ laws, it still stands for the proposition that texting-while-driving is wrong and illegal. More than 90% of Floridians over the age of 50 supported a texting-while-driving ban. Other supporters of the law include car rental companies, parents’ groups, and health care associations. Cell phone providers had also pushed for the law. The nation’s four largest cell phone companies recently joined together in an advertising campaign entitled “It Can Wait.”

Florida governor signs driving-while-texting ban, May 28, 2013

Rep. Irv Slosberg said a tougher law is needed and he is considering urging lawmakers to make texting-while-driving a primary offense by next year. However, Slosberg knows how slow these changes have occurred historically. In 1986, Florida enacted its first seat-belt law as a secondary offense. It was not until 2009 that a bill sponsored by Slosberg was passed and gave officers authority to stop and ticket drivers for failing to wear a seatbelt.

Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of serious injury and fatal car accidents. Texting while driving has been shown to drastically increase the risk for crashes, injuries, and death. Many families have confronted the devastating effects of cellphone use while driving first-hand. The Broward car accident attorneys have dedicated their careers to helping victims recover after tragic automobile accidents. If you have been injured because of another driver’s negligence, the Coral Gables insurance litigation attorneys can help you recover compensation for your injuries, pain and suffering, and lost wages. If you or someone you love has been injured due to distracted driving, the Fort Lauderdale motor vehicle attorneys at the Friedland | Carmona can help you! Call (305) 661-2008 for your free consultation today!

The Miami personal injury attorneys at the Friedland | Carmona handle all types car accident cases throughout the state of Florida, including Boca Raton, Homestead, North Miami, South Miami, Miami Beach, Coral Gables, Pembroke Pines, Hialeah, Kendall, Aventura, Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach. The Friedland | Carmona handles all types of personal injury claims, including wrongful death, defective products, medical malpractice, motor vehicle accidents and construction site injuries. Call today and let our family take care of your family!

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