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Distracted Driving Bill Rejected by Florida Senate

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A bill introduced in the Florida Legislature that would have increased penalties for distracted driving was recently rejected by the Senate. The bill in question, known as House Bill 33, was passed by the House with only two dissenting votes and was even endorsed by the governor. Despite the high number of the bill’s proponents, the Senate President refused to hear the bill. If passed, the law would have allowed police officers to pull over drivers who were using their phones while driving. Currently, law enforcement officials can only ticket motorists for distracted driving if the individuals were pulled over for another reason.

These types of measures are becoming increasingly popular across the nation, as the number of accidents caused by distracted driving continues to rise. Even though the most recent attempt to strengthen distracted driving laws failed, it is still possible for those who are injured in accidents caused by a distracted driver to recover damages for their losses. Please contact a member of our car accident legal team today to learn more about filing your own claim for compensation.

Current Law

Under current law, texting while driving is illegal and can result in a ticket and a fine. However, police officers are only permitted to ticket drivers for using their phones if they initially pull the driver over for another reason, such as expired tags or speeding. Because it is considered a secondary offense, distracted driving is only punishable by a $20 fine. If passed, the new law would have made driving while using a phone a primary offense, thereby allowing police officers to pull over drivers who they saw using their phones. Unfortunately, the bill did not survive the Senate, so distracted driving will remain a secondary offense, at least for the time being.

The Dangers of Using a Phone While Driving

Using a cellphone while driving is by no means the only type of dangerous distracted driving activity. In fact, the CDC defines distracted driving as participating in any activity that takes a driver’s attention away from the act of driving itself. Furthermore, there are actually three categories of driver distraction: visual, manual, and cognitive. While many activities only fall under one or two of these categories, driving while using a cell phone has proven to be especially dangerous because it involves all three, as using a phone causes drivers to take their eyes off of the road, hands off of the wheel, and their mind off of the road. This can have deadly consequences, as distracted driving crashes usually occur at high speeds and so result in a significant amount of damage.

Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney Today

Distracted driving accidents almost always result in serious, and even life-threatening injuries that can be expensive and painful to treat. In some cases, injured parties could remain permanently disabled or even lose their lives. To ensure that you are compensated for your own crash-related injuries, please contact one of the dedicated Fort Lauderdale car accident attorneys at Boone & Davis by calling 954-566-9919 today.

Resource:

cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/distracted_driving/index.html

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