Proposed legislation would make it easier for police to enforce current ban
A South Florida lawmaker has introduced a bill that would toughen the state’s texting and driving ban, according to WPTV News. The bill would make texting and driving a primary offense and would also double the fine for people caught texting and driving in school zones. Although Florida has, along with most other states, banned texting and driving, critics say the current law is weak and almost impossible to enforce.
Problems with current ban
Texting and driving is currently a secondary offense in Florida, meaning police need to observe drivers committing some other offense, like speeding or running a red light, before they can pull that driver over for texting. Police have complained that that restriction makes the current ban almost useless since it is so difficult to enforce.
Critics also note that the fine, just $30 for a first offense and $60 for a second offense, is hardly enough to discourage many people from texting while behind the wheel. According to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Florida’s current ban is one of the weakest in the nation, especially given that of the 44 states that have banned texting and driving, Florida is one of only five that makes it a secondary offense.
The proposed legislation would address some of these problems by making texting and driving a primary offense, thus making it much easier for police to pull over drivers they see texting behind the wheel. The bill would also double fines for texting and driving in school zones.
The need to discourage texting and driving is highlighted by a growing number of frightening statistics. For example, about 200,000 accidents are caused each year because of texting and driving, says the National Safety Council. Distracted driving itself, which is often caused by cellphone use, leads to thousands of deaths annually on the nation’s roads and highways, according to federal statistics.
Motor vehicle accidents
Despite those dangers, however, many drivers throughout Florida continue to text when driving, thus endangering the lives of every other motorist on the road. People who have been the victims of such negligent drivers know firsthand the sort of damage and devastation texting and driving can cause.
Such accident victims, however, should not feel helpless when it comes to holding negligent drivers accountable. An experienced personal injury attorney can help during these difficult times. A qualified attorney will be able to inform accident victims about what rights and possible remedies may be available to them, including, in some situations, possible compensation to help cope with the expenses caused by an accident.