Texting And Driving In Florida May Become A Primary Offense In 2015

Texting And Driving In Florida May Become A Primary Offense In 2015

Several bills have been proposed for the 2015 legislative session in Florida that would make texting and driving a primary offense.

Currently in Florida, according to Distraction.gov, texting and driving is a secondary offense, meaning that law enforcement officials must have another reason to pull over someone they see texting and driving. However, in an effort to reduce the number of people who are seriously injured or killed in texting and driving-related accidents, several bills have been filed in Florida for the 2015 legislative session that are designed to make texting while driving a primary offense, states NBC 5. If one of these bills is passed, law enforcement officials would be able to pull drivers over solely for texting and driving.

A senator who is sponsoring one of these bills believes that texting and driving needs to become a primary offense in Florida because the current texting ban, passed in 2013, is barely enforced. However, under the particular bill this senator is sponsoring, the fines would not increase for texting and driving.

Texting Bans Don’t Always Work

While these bills are designed to reduce the number of drivers in Florida who text and drive, research from the Highway Loss Data Institute suggests that texting bans do not result in a reduction in crashes. Instead, these laws are often associated with a slight increase in the number of car accidents that occur.

Researchers analyzed the number of collision claims filed after car accidents in California, Louisiana, Minnesota and Washington before and after a texting ban was passed. Those who worked on the study believe that these bans don’t work because they focus on only one aspect of distracted driving, fail to address the countless other types of driver distraction and rely on banning one type of distraction to eliminate the entire distracted driving problem.

Many Are Injured Or Killed Every Day

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, distracted driving is defined as any activity that takes a driver’s full attention away from the road. For example, in addition to texting and driving, a driver can become distracted when he or she:

  • Tries to eat or drink while driving
  • Fixes his or her hair while driving
  • Changes the radio station while driving

In Florida and throughout the country, many drivers, passengers and pedestrians are injured or killed in distracted driving-related collisions every day. The CDC states that on a daily basis, distracted driving accidents cause nine fatalities and injure over 1,000 people. If you suffered injuries in an accident caused by a negligent driver who was distracted by his or her cellphone, speak with an attorney to determine what compensation may be available to you.

Keywords: texting, distracted, driving, accident