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What You Need To Know About The No Texting While Driving Law In Florida

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Owning a car comes with benefits and advantages. It allows you to go from one place to another without having to consider other passengers’ needs or a certain bus schedule. You can go anywhere anytime you want.

However, it also comes with responsibilities. Having your driver’s license comes with obligations. You have to make sure you follow the law at all times. To do this, you need to familiarize yourself with various state laws.

The Dangers You May Face

Mobile phones have become part of our lives. They allow us to communicate with others in real time without having to meet in person. One of the features that many people use is text messaging. It takes only a few seconds to send or read a message. That is what makes it highly convenient.

However, there are certain circumstances when texting becomes inappropriate. One of these situations is when you are driving. Many motorists are guilty of texting while they are behind the wheel. Some people think that taking a few seconds to reply to a message does not jeopardize anyone.

What these individuals do not realize is that it is dangerous to do this. Texting while you are on the road is a form of distracted driving, which is one of the common causes of traffic accidents.

What The Experts Say

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), distracted driving in the United States kills approximately nine individuals and injures more than 1,000 people every day. Generally, there are three types of distractions that may impair drivers:

• Visual – When the driver takes their eyes off the road
• Manual – When the driver takes their hands off the steering wheel
• Cognitive – When the driver takes their mind off of driving

Each type of distraction poses risks and threats. What makes texting extremely dangerous is that it is a combination of all three. Normally, a person reading or sending a text will take their eyes off the road for approximately five seconds.

What The Florida Law States

To address this, the state of Florida imposed a law banning texting while driving. Its primary purposes are the following:

• Improvement of road conditions for all vehicle operators, cyclists, and pedestrians
• Prevention of auto accidents related to texting while driving
• Reduction of injuries, deaths, damage costs, and health insurance costs
• Authorization of police officials to issue citations related to texting while driving

This law aims to ensure safer roads for motorists. Technically, the law began on July 1, 2019. However, authorities used that time as a grace period to increase awareness and allow drivers to get used to it.

The grace period has come to an end. At the start of the new year, law enforcement officers in Florida started enforcing the second phase of the law. Thus, drivers who will violate it will no longer receive a simple warning. First-time offenders will have to pay a $30 fine. Meanwhile, second-time offenders will have to face a $60 fine and three points on their driver’s license. It also comes with court costs and other related fees.

This law does not prohibit you from ever using your phone while you are in your car. You can still make calls, use the GPS navigation system, or read emergency messages like weather alerts. You may also use hands-free devices during emergencies. In addition to the prohibition of texting, you cannot use handheld wireless communication devices in school or roadwork zones and school crossings.

Stephen M. Fernandez developed a strong belief in justice and fairness in public policy while earning his Political Science degree prior to attending law school. Since joining the Florida Bar Association in 2004, Stephen Fernandez has combined his background in public policy, business administration and civil law to serve as a highly effective trial lawyer fighting for Florida's injured, working hard every day to make sure his clients get what they are owed.

What You Need To Know About The No Texting While Driving Law In Florida

Goldman Babboni Fernandez
Murphy & Walsh

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