April 24th, 2013 - by DKRPA
As much of the country has designated the month of April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month, legislators in Florida may finally be on the verge of passing legislation to protect our roads from motorists distracted by cellphones.
While many states have already passed a number of laws prohibiting certain types of dangerous behaviors, Florida has yet to follow suit. Just last week, however, the Florida Senate passed Senate Bill 52, which would prohibit motorists in Florida from texting while behind the wheel.
The bill makes the texting while driving ban a secondary law, which means law enforcement officers would only be allowed to issue a citation for violating the law if the driver was first stopped for violating another traffic law. Drivers who receive first-time citations would be fined $30. Drivers who then received additional citations during the subsequent five years would be fined $60 and would receive three points on their license.
Many states have initiated texting while driving bans because texting is an especially hazardous form of driver distraction. When a motorist texts while behind the wheel, he or she is then distracted manually, visually and cognitively. In other words, the driver removes his or her hands, eyes and thoughts from the task of operating the motor vehicle.
According to a study conducted by Virginia Tech, drivers who text while behind the wheel increase their chance of causing a motor vehicle accident by 23 times.
Individuals who sustain injuries in auto accidents caused by distracted drivers can seek the advice of a skilled personal injury attorney to protect their rights.
Source: WUFT News, “Florida Senate passes bill banning texting while driving,” Sarah Samuels, April 18, 2013.