DON’T TEXT AND DRIVE. PREVENT AN ACCIDENT TODAY!
Brannon & Brannon, a personal injury law firm, provides you up-to-date changes in Florida law affecting accident victims.
Effective October 1, 2013, texting while driving is now illegal in the state of Florida. The new law, titled “Florida Ban on Texting While Driving Law”, is direct and to the point [Florida Statute §316.305]. The intent of the Florida Legislature was to prevent and reduce car crashes, injuries, deaths, property damage, health care costs, and insurance rates related to motor vehicle crashes.
The statute was drafted and enacted to also authorize law enforcement officers to stop motorists and issue citations (as a secondary offense) to persons who are texting while driving. Therefore, please be aware that a person may not “operate a motor vehicle while manually typing or entering multiple letters, numbers, symbols, or other characters into a wireless communications device or while sending or reading data on1 such a device for the purpose of non-voice interpersonal communication, including, but not limited to, communication methods known as texting, e-mailing, and instant messaging.”
As expected, this restriction does not apply to our authorized emergency vehicles, law enforcement or fire service professionals.
The statute gets real interesting in Subsection (3)(c). If an accident results in death or injury, the responsible party’s billing records for his/her wireless device may be obtained and admitted as evidence in any proceeding to determine whether a violation occurred.
For those of you that do not like following the law, the violation is a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a nonmoving violation. But, don’t get caught twice in five (5) years; otherwise, the second infraction is punishable as a moving violation. This new law can only be enforced as a secondary action when an operator of a motor vehicle has been detained for a suspected violation of another law.
The personal injury attorneys at Brannon & Brannon strongly encourage all of you with mobile devices to pay attention to the road, use voice commands on your mobile device as often as possible, and take the time in your vehicle to unwind! Put the phone down.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, call the personal injury attorneys at Brannon & Brannon for a free consultation (850-863-5297) or visit our website for more information (www.BrannonCanHelp.com).
C. Paul Brannon