A bill that would let law enforcement pull over Florida drivers they see texting and driving is moving closer to becoming law. This week, House Bill 107, filed by state Rep. Jackie Toledo, R-Tampa, was passed unanimously by the Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee. The bill will now go to the House Appropriations Committee.
The new proposed bill would shift texting while driving from a “secondary” offense to a “primary” offense. Under current law, a police officer cannot pull someone over simply because that person is texting and driving. The driver must commit another infraction first- for example, speeding or reckless driving.
Out of the fifty states, Florida is one of the most lenient ones in terms of penalizing drivers who have caused an accident due to taking their eyes off the road to finish a text. According to a study done by the South Florida Sun Sentinel, after examining 3 million crashes, the study showed that accidents occurring because of texting have increased by 11 percent from 2013 to 2016. The problem is now considered to be an epidemic.
The Senate proposal would begin with a public-awareness campaign, with warnings being handed out to violators from Oct. 1 through the end of the year, at which time citations would start to be issued. Drivers’ billing records for wireless devices would be admissible as evidence when the drivers are involved in crashes involving death or serious bodily injury.
What to Do if Involved in a Distracted Driving Accident
It is easy to see that distracted drivers are frequently at fault for car accidents on Florida’s roads. This means other drivers and passengers are affected by the reckless driving that texting, eating, and other distractions cause. Distracted drivers are more likely to speed, need to stop abruptly, make swift or sudden turns, and swerve. All those behaviors lead to more car accidents.
If you are involved in an accident with a distracted driver, you may want to bring a personal injury claim to cover injuries and other expenses resulting from the accident. The best way to assess your claim and amount of compensation for medical costs, lost wages, and other losses is to speak with an injury attorney in Florida. Through an initial consultation, a personal injury lawyer can begin to understand the circumstances of your claim and possible recovery.
FREE CONSULTATION WITH A MIAMI AUTO ACCIDENT PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY
To build a successful personal injury claim against a distracted driver, you need a dedicated and experienced personal injury attorney. Our Miami personal injury law firm, have an entire legal team focused on car accident injury claims, motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, and other incidents involving distracted drivers. Contact our Miami office for a free consultation by calling toll-free at 1-866-597-4529, locally at 305-441-0440, reach us by email at [email protected] or on our LIVE chat on aronfeld.com to arrange a FREE confidential initial consultation at your home, office, hotel or hospital.