Florida lawmakers currently considering a bill to make texting while driving illegal

Florida lawmakers are currently considering a bill that would make texting while driving illegal. The law, if it passes, would allow local police to ticket driver for texting but only if they were pulled over for another offense. The bill would not allow a person to operate a motor vehicle while manually typing or entering multiple letters, numbers into a wireless communication device or while sending or reading data in such a device.

The bill does make exemptions for drivers using their cellphones to navigate, obtain safety information or report emergencies to authorities. If the bill passes, it would go into effect in October. The law provides that points could be assessed against a driver’s license for texting in a school zone or causing a crash due to texting.

Texting while driving is a major cause of accidents in the United States. According to research from 2011, most adults who drive admit that they engage in distracted driving behaviors at some point. That research showed that roughly 86 percent of drivers said they ate or drank while driving at some point, and 57 percent admitted doing it “sometimes” or “often.”

Some other statistics:

  • Over one-third of drivers have sent or received text messages while driving, and 18 percent said they do it regularly.
  • Forty-one percent of adult drivers have set or changed a GPS system while driving, and 21 percent do it “more frequently.”
  • 36 percent of adult drivers have read a map while driving, and 10 percent do it “sometimes” or “often.”
  • One if five drivers have combed or styled their hair while driving, and one in ten does it regularly.

Those who are victims of accidents involving texting while driving may be able to obtain compensation through a personal injury action. It pays to work with an experienced attorney through the process.

Source: The Independent Florida Alligator, Texting while driving could soon be banned Kelcee Grittis, March 1, 2013