Florida Ban on Texting while Driving

July 18, 2013, by

By Attorney Marianne Bartko of Rubenstein Law

Rubenstein Law supports the new law banning texting while driving. The governor signed SB52 which bans texting while driving throughout the state of Florida; it is an amended version of House Bill 013 (http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2013/0013). The bill was signed on Tuesday at Alonzo and Tracy Mourning Senior High School in Miami and will take effect on October 1, 2013. This law prohibits the typing of anything into a wireless device while driving including text messages, emailing, and instant messages. Florida now joins a vast majority of the states that already have similar bans in place.

The new law has been criticized as being too lenient. It allows for texting at stop lights, while in park, during traffic jams, and there is no prohibition on talk-to-text programs. Additionally, texting while driving will be a secondary offense. What this means is that you can only be ticketed for texting if you have been stopped for a separate violation. The penalties are $30.00 plus court costs for a first offense and $60.00 for a second offense.

Texting while driving creates dangerous conditions for anyone on the roadways. Using a cell phone while driving, whether it's handheld or hands-free, delays a driver's reactions as much as having a blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit of .08 percent (University of Utah 2009). In the US, motor vehicle accidents are the leading causes of death especially for teen drivers. This law will be a step in the right direction towards making our roadways a safer place to drive.

Should your teen or loved one get into an auto accident, it's important to call the police and seek medical treatment. Keep in mind that the shock of being in a collision may hide any pain until hours or even days later. Our South Florida car accident lawyers have compiled a complete list of what to do after a car or auto accident. Most importantly, before you speak to the at-fault driver's insurance company about your injury, contact Rubenstein Law, to discuss your accident. We have offices in Miami, Plantation and West Palm Beach. Contact us at 1-800-FL-LEGAL (355-3425) or go to rubensteinlaw.com.