Will Florida Finally Ban Texting While Driving?

by Carmen Dellutri on December 12, 2011

Naples car accident attorneyAs Florida personal injury attorneys, we are hoping Florida will finally become the 36th state to ban texting while driving. A pair of bills that would prohibit text messaging while driving has been submitted by Rep. Ray Pilon, R-Sarasota, and Sen. Nancy Detert, R-Venice.

The future of the bills is largely uncertain, given that previous bills have failed to advance out of committee. Legislators have previously cited numerous reasons for striking down a texting ban, including enforcement issues and personal liberty concerns.

Texting, under the proposed bills, would be a secondary offense, which means that the driver would have to be stopped for a primary infraction, such as speeding. A citation for speeding and texting that involves an accident would result in six points being levied against the driver’s license. Twelve or more points in one year can lead to a suspended license.

Co-sponsor of the House bill, state Rep. Irv Slosberg, D-Boca Raton, a highway safety advocate whose daughter died in a car crash, said he is asking only that texting be labeled a secondary offense as a first step in order to increase its chances of even making it out of committee. He noted that not wearing a seat belt began as a secondary offense before he sponsored legislation making it a primary offense following the death of his daughter.

Although he rated the bill’s chances as “slim to none” next year, he vowed to keep on fighting.

“Sooner or later we’ll get it out of the drawer,” Slosberg said.

While lawmakers may not all agree, proponents of the bill certainly have statistics on their side. Consider the following:

  • Texting while driving resulted in 16,141 deaths from 2001 to 2007, according to a study released last year by the University of North Texas Health Science Center.
  • A 2009 study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute found that long-haul truckers increased the risk of crashes by 23 times when texting.
  • A 2009 Car and Driver magazine experiment found that texting while driving had a greater impact on safety, including longer stopping distances, than driving drunk.

Source: News-Press.com

The Dellutri Law Group is focused on making bad situations better and putting lives back together. If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a Florida car accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation.

To learn more about your legal options, contact our experienced Florida injury attorneys for a free consultation. 

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