Apparently the note that texting while driving is dangerous has not reached the Florida Legislature yet. Despite the fact that 71 percent of Floridians would back a law that bans texting while driving, the legislature one again killed any meaningful legislation that would have dealt with it.
Insiders were unsurprised that legislation stalled in the House of Representatives, which has proven historically hostile to laws dealing with texting bans. The Senate proved more conducive to a new anti-texting law, having moved their distracted driving bill (SB 416) through four different committees. The Senate bill would have made texting while driving a secondary offense.
An officer can issue a citation for a secondary offense, but only after a motorist has been pulled over for a primary offense. So, in the Senate scheme, a motorist could not have been pulled over for texting while driving, but could have been ticketed for that offense if they had been pulled over for a primary offense like speeding or running a red light.
House Speaker Dean Cannon had confirmed his hostility to an anti-texting bill when he stated that he opposed “one more layer of prohibitive behavior” from the state government. The companion bill to SB 416 was never even considered.
In the first ten months of 2011, there were 2,218 distracted driving crashes in Florida. Of those crashes, texting contributed to 145 of those accidents. Although that sounds low, authorities say the percentage is probably much higher because many drivers won’t admit that they were texting after they have been in an accident.
If a distracted motorist has injured you or somebody you know, you have the right to take the liable party to court to recover medical bill costs and to be compensated for other damages. Call a Farah & Farah’s personal injury attorney in Florida at (800) 533-3555 for a free, no-obligation consultation today.