It’s been over one year since the "texting while driving" ban became law in the state of Florida. The law took effect on Oct. 1, 2013, and authorities say that it has helped reduce the instances of texting while driving, as well as accidents that were caused by distracted drivers typing away on their mobile devices.
The number of drivers ticketed for texting and driving, though, is very small. In fact, there have been only about 1500 tickets issued state-wide. Many of those tickets were issued in the county of Miami-Dade, where over 300 tickets were written. In Central Florida there were 62 tickets in Orange County and 62 in Seminole County. Volusia County had 28 tickets, and in Lake County and Osceola County just 15 each.
Florida State Troopers believe the law is working, despite a small amount of tickets. They have been performing lots of education with drivers on the side of the road. They will inform drivers of the new law, and feel that many people were just unaware of the new rules.
The texting while driving law is considered a secondary-offense. A trooper must pull a driver over for something like speeding or reckless driving, and then the trooper must prove that the driver was using the phone. In many cases the driver may admit to using the phone to text.
In the case of texting while driving accidents, a trooper can investigate if the phone was being used by checking the time and dates of texts and responses. Sometimes if the accident is serious, authorities may subpoena phone records from the cell provider of a driver to see if the phone was in use during the time of the accident.
Texting while driving has been tied to hundreds of accidents, many of them fatal, throughout the United States. Many studies show that it is just as dangerous as drunk-driving, and yet people continue to engage in the activity. Even when laws are passed, there will be scofflaws who ignore the rule and continue to endanger the rest of society.
If you are ever in an accident caused by texting while driving, seek legal representation as this is a new variable in traffic accidents, and a professional is necessary to help you navigate the laws. Contact the Law Offices of James O. Cunningham, P.A. today at 877-FL-INJURY (877-354-6587).
James O. Cunningham
Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.
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