On May 28, 2013, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed into law a ban on texting while driving. Florida is now the 41st state to adopt such measures. The ban makes texting while driving a secondary offense, which means that police have to stop drivers for a separate violation before ticketing someone over for texting and driving. Some advocacy groups say this law doesn't go far enough and are in favor of the text ban being a primary offense, meaning drivers could be pulled over and ticketed solely for texting while driving. Regardless, Governor Scott said, "It's the right way to start," adding, "This is going to save lives. This is going to make sure our teenagers are safe while driving, that they're not distracted while driving." The law also allows for police to access a driver's mobile phone records when texting causes a crash resulting in death or personal injury and drivers can use their phone records as a defense to any alleged violations. In addition, to mobile phones, the law also covers tablet computers. Drivers can still text while stopped at red lights. First violations of the law are punished with a $30 fine plus court costs and subsequent violations within 5 years are punished with points on your license and a $60 fine.
According the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, of the 256,442 crashes reported in Florida in 2012, 4,841 involved a driver that was texting or otherwise using an electronic communication device. All too often accidents are caused by the negligence of drivers who are distracted for a variety of reasons. If you've been injured in an accident, call Robert Sparks Attorneys today for a free case evaluation and to learn what rights you have and to receive full compensation for your injuries.