When a driver takes their eyes off of the road to read or type texts, they do so for an average of five seconds. Many injuries or even death can occur within the time frame of a single moment. Many unfortunate lives have been lost due to texting while driving. Over hundreds of teenagers and adults alike have died while attempting to multitask on the road, but the risk of incidents like this happening will begin to slim. On May 28th of this year, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed the bill that bans texting while driving. It will go into effect on the first of October of this year. What does this mean for you? What does this mean for Florida’s overall safety?
The New Law
The new law is defined as a secondary offense, which means that in order to be fined for texting while driving, you would need to be pulled over first. If found guilty, the party in question would be fined thirty dollars in addition to the fine of the first offense. Points would be added to the drivers’ license according to the specifics of the violation, with variables such as in school safety zones or if involved in car accidents.
The Flexibility of the New Law
The new law is beneficial for anyone driving on the road, and will help make Florida roads a safer place to drive. The new law as it stands allows for much flexibility, including the following facts:
- It is legal to text while stopped at a red light
- It is legal to text while stopped in traffic
- Voice texting is allowed
The law understands that you and the drivers around you are busy, and in this world of growing technology, attention needs to be given to every detail at every given time. But no text message is worth your life or the lives around you.
Everyone has opinions, and some opinions just do not agree with the passing of this new law. Some say that the fine is too low, while others say that it will be too hard to enforce because checking one’s phone every five minutes is a part of modern daily life. Some even say that the law is not important because it is considered a secondary offense. While it is only a secondary offense, that is how Florida’s seatbelt law began, and it now exists as a primary offense.
You can do your part to ensure that checking your phone often will not negatively affect your driving. Develop a routine for checking your phone during times when you know you will not be driving. If you must be on your phone while you drive, wait until you are stopped at a stop sign or traffic light before you begin reading or typing texts. If you are feeling conflicted between the urgency of your texting and your safety on the road, then immediately pull off to the side. Your life, and the lives of those around you, is worth more than a single text message.
Contact Us Today
There is only so much you can do for your own safety within a vehicle. Buckling up, regularly watching every mirror, and fully stopping at stop signs and red lights are just a few ways that you can keep yourself and your loved ones safe. This new ban adds to that safety, and now you can do your part by putting your phone away while you are at the wheel. Unfortunately, not everyone will follow the law, so if you or your loved one gets into a car accident that is caused by a driver that was distracted by texting, contact us here at Lowman Law for a free consultation.