Does Florida Have a Distracted Driving Law?
Distracted driving is a major cause of accidents across the country, not just in Florida. Texting and driving is one of the main reasons accidents happen, despite legislative attempts to discourage drivers from engaging in negligent actions by passing tougher laws. Texting and driving is such a serious problem that Florida enacted a new law that will increase penalties for these offenses.
Previously, texting and driving was a secondary offense under Florida law. This meant that an officer could not pull you over just for that. Under the new law, it can be a primary offense. And, if the violation was performed in a construction or school zone, it would qualify for an enhanced penalty.
Some people might not be worried about paying a fine and having a violation on their record, but they should be. They should also be concerned about what happens if they get into an accident that is caused by someone texting at the time. If someone causes an injury accident due to texting and driving, it’s important to contact an Orlando auto accident attorney as soon as possible.
New Texting and Driving Law
Until January 1, 2020, officers in Florida can pull people over who are texting and driving and issue either a verbal or written warning. This is the transition period to offer drivers and officers a “grace period” to get used to the new law. There are a lot of questions about the new law in regard to violations and traffic fines. Whether or not a fine is issued, your attorney will argue that the driver was still negligent and that the texting while driving was the proximate cause of the accident.
Not surprisingly, people have a lot of questions regarding the new law. Per Florida Today, some key points of the new law include:
- Drivers can receive numerous warnings during the grace period and it will not count against their driving record.
- Drivers are allowed to answer their phone by tapping a button, but it’s certainly more prudent to use a hands-free or Bluetooth device.
- Drivers can hold their cell phones to talk except in school zones or marked construction zones under the new law.
- Drivers who are stopped for a stoplight are allowed to text. The law says an officer can only pull someone over for texting and driving if the vehicle is in motion. However, it’s important to note a driver could be cited for impeding traffic flow.
- The new law does not allow officers to pull a driver over for other distracted driving activities like eating and driving, despite the fact that they are also unsafe.
Contact an Orlando Auto Accident Attorney Today
If you or a loved one was injured in an auto accident caused by someone else’s negligence, don’t attempt to pursue a claim on your own. Even if the other driver didn’t receive a ticket for distracted driving, it doesn’t mean you don’t have a right to pursue an injury claim in many situations. Contact Payer Law today to schedule an initial consultation. Let our Orlando auto accident lawyers sit down and help you determine whether you have a valid injury claim against the other party.