In an effort to limit driver distraction and make the roads safer for everyone, in October 2013 Florida became the 41st state to put a ban on texting while driving into effect. 44 states now have distracted driving laws on the books. The debate has been ongoing for the past year; do you think the current law in Florida is strong enough to deter distracted drivers?
Florida’s distracted driving law makes it a secondary offense to read or send a text, email or instant message on a smartphone while driving. That means police officers have to first stop drivers for another offense like speeding or rolling through a stop sign before they can ticket a driver that they observe to be using their smartphones. If issued a ticket for a first texting and driving offense, drivers can obtain a $30 fine. For a second offense within 5 years, drivers can anticipate a $60 fine and three points added to their driving record.
A recent editorial piece in the Sun Sentinel points out that state representatives have introduced bills that would make texting while driving a primary offense, and ideally, keep drivers from picking up their phones and sending texts behind the wheel. Read the article here, and let us know if you agree or disagree! Is Florida’s texting while driving law helping to reduce the number of accidents on area roads and highways? Should the state apply stiffer penalties to punish distracted drivers?