Distracted Driving Becoming An Epidemic
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol has been a huge problem in American society. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 11,000 people are killed each year in an alcohol related accidents. Many of those drivers had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .15 or above. While these statistics are alarming, fatal crashes involving alcohol have actually decreased over the past two decades. Distracted driving has become the number one problem in the nation and cell phones are involved in 1.6 millions accidents each year according to the Department of Transportation (DOT). A recent study conducted by the Virginia Tech Driving Institute reported that motorists who text while driving are 23 times more likely to be involved in an accident.
Florida's Proposed Legislation
Many states throughout the nation have passed laws banning texting while driving. Three state representatives in Florida have filed proposed legislation to deal with the risks of distracted driving, and these include: Senate Bill 80 This would prohibit all drivers from texting or using any other form of text-based messaging while operating a motor vehicle. Anyone charged with this offense would be subject to a fine of $100. Senator Evelyn Lynn of Florida is sponsoring the bill. Senate Bill 158 Prohibits operating a motor vehicle while using a wireless communication device for certain purposes. Provides for a secondary enforcement, which means that a driver may be pulled over and issued a ticket only if they are observed violating another law, such as speeding. A total of six points will be issued against the individual's driver's license if the crash was a result of unlawfully using a wireless communication device. This bill is being sponsored by Florida State Senator Nancy Detert. House Bill 79 Sponsored by Representative Ari Porth, this proposed legislation is identical to Senate Bill 158 and would create the Florida Ban on Texting While Driving Law. This bill has strong support from Florida's law enforcement community. The Broward Sheriff's Office is launching a campaign focused on keeping the roads safe from texting drivers and will be airing public safety announcements on all local cable television channels.
When to Get Help From a Florida Attorney
The State of Florida currently has no laws prohibiting using cell phones while operating a motor vehicle. However, an experienced attorney will tell you that if you cause an accident and are found negligent due to distracted driving, this could result in a huge lawsuit. Victims of auto accidents have the right to file suit against the person responsible for causing the crash. They can sue you for damage to their vehicle along with the cost of their medical treatment. If you have been involved in an accident or been issued a citation for violating traffic laws, contact an attorney for immediate assistance.