Focus on Renewed Attempt to Curb Distracted Driving in Florida

Officials in the state of Florida are still pushing for distracted driving laws. According to FOX 4 News, Sen. Nancy Detert, R-Venice recently filed a measure to keep drivers from text messaging, Tweeting, Facebooking or emailing behind the wheel.

Senate Bill 52 is asking that this behavior be considered a “secondary offense,” meaning that an officer has to first witness a driver violating another road law before they can be pulled over and cited for these distracting behaviors. However, GPS devices would be allowed as would accessing weather and traffic reports. The only question is — how is an officer to decipher what you are doing on your phone?

Our Boca Raton car accident attorneys understand that Florida is one of the only states left without a ban on drivers text messaging behind the wheel. We’re actually one of only 5 states left. In 2010, there were close to 3,100 people killed nationwide as a result of distracted driving. Another 420,000 people were injured in these incidents. These are all incidents that could have been prevented had drivers paid more attention to the task at hand — driving!

As it stands now, lawmakers won’t be in full session until March of 2013. Still, bills are being filed now for the upcoming legislative session. Committee meetings on proposed legislation will start on the 3rd of December. If it passes, drivers can find themselves with a $30 fine for texting while driving. It will be considered a nonmoving violation.

Detert’s proposal was among the one of the first measures in the Senate to emerge from bill drafting for the coming year.

The state of Florida has already been asked by officials with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to enact this kind of law. Texting while driving has already been listed as one of the top causes for car accidents in the U.S.

Only the states of South Carolina, Arizona, South Dakota, Montana and Florida are left without bans on texting while driving.

Detert has already made two attempts at getting these kinds of laws to pass. Neither has been successful.

These dangerous driving habits affect drivers of all ages, but are a serious threat to our younger drivers. According to Distraction.org, more than 10 percent of all drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported distracted at the time of the crash. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted. Parents and guardians are asked to be safe behind the wheel not only to improve their safety, but to help to set a good example for our younger drivers. Roadway safety can be achieved with an effort from all drivers. Stay safe out there, keep your eyes on the road and be patient during this busy holiday travel season.