Texting while driving takes lives. Drivers who are distracted don’t have their eyes on the road, their mind on traffic, and their hands on the wheel. To address the dangers of texting while driving, such as death, personal injury, and property damage, Florida has passed a law called “The Florida Ban on Texting While Driving Law.”
The law allows police officers the right to stop car drivers and issue citations. Officers can’t stop the driver for texting while driving alone. They can stop the driver if a primary offense occurs, such as speeding or running through a red light, and then issue a secondary citation for texting while driving. The ban provides that drivers cannot manually enter multiple letters, symbols, or numbers into a wireless communications device, such as a smartphone, while they are operating their car. The law applies to vehicle operators who text, e-mail, or send instant messages.
Exceptions to the texting while driving ban
The law does not apply to:
- Drivers who are stopped, such as drivers who pull over to the side of the road.
- Law enforcement, fire protection, or ER medical service professionals who are performing official job duties while driving an authorized vehicle.
- A driver who is reporting suspicious or criminal activity to law enforcement.
- Drivers who receive messages that involve the navigation of the car, or safety information such as weather or traffic alerts.
- Radio broadcasts.
- Wireless communications that don’t involve actual texting except to turn on or turn off the device or initiate some feature.
Some other exceptions may also apply.
Violation of the texting ban is not a criminal offense. First-time violations are treated as a noncriminal traffic infraction punishable as a nonmoving violation. Second-time violations, within five years of the first violation, are treated as a noncriminal traffic infraction punishable as a moving violation. Several Florida legislators are working to make texting while driving offenses primary offenses.
The Miami-Dade personal injury lawyers at Yeboah Law Group are strong advocates for victims of texting while driving accidents. We hold vehicle operators liable for car and truck accidents when they disregard practical common sense, and Florida statutes, by texting while driving. Drivers should wait until they are off the road to type into their smartphones and other wireless devices.
If death or injury occurs because of careless or reckless conduct, please call us at (800) TELL-SAM to schedule a free appointment with a Miami car crash attorney. You can also reach us through our contact form.