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Florida Lawmakers Finally Pass Texting Ban for Drivers

By Orlando Personal Injury Attorney on June 26, 2013

In a move applauded by James O. Cunningham and other Orlando distracted driving accident lawyers, Governor Rick Scott is expected to sign a law banning drivers from sending texts later this month. After many false starts and attempts at passing legislation, state lawmakers finally got a bill through committee and onto the governor’s desk. SB 52 isn’t nearly as comprehensive as texting bans in other states are, as drivers will still be able to text while stopped at red lights or otherwise stopped in traffic and violations will be treated as a “secondary” offense. A secondary offense means that in order for drivers to be ticketed for texting while driving, they will first have to be cited for another violation such as speeding, improper lane usage, etc.

Drivers who are caught texting while driving will be fined $30 plus court costs for a first offense and $60 plus costs for a second offense.

Gov. Scott read a statement before signing the bill into law. He said, “As a father and a grandfather, texting while driving is something that concerns me when my loved ones are on the road. The 100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day are known as the deadliest days on the road for teenagers. We must do everything we can at the state level to keep our teenagers and everyone on our roads safe. I cannot think of a better time to officially sign this bill into law.”

Longtime critics of Florida legislators will say that two, three or four years ago would have been a better time to sign a texting ban into law, as the vast majority of states have had texting bans in place for many years. However, Mr. Cunningham and other Orlando personal injury attorneys will tell you that any efforts to curb distracted driving and make Florida roadways safer is definitely a step in the right direction.

That said, there is still plenty of room for improvement on this texting ban. A Supreme Court ruling on May 2 declared that law enforcement officials would have to obtain a warrant to search a suspect’s cell phone to prove that he or she was texting while driving. The fact that a driver has to be pulled over for another offense before being charged with texting while driving is also problematic. Further, Florida laws do not allow drivers’ phone records to be used as evidence in court in relation to a texting ticket, unless they cause an accident that results in injury or death.

If you have been injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver and would like to speak with Mr. Cunningham, call him today at 877-FL-INJURY (877-354-6587) to schedule a free consultation. Few Orlando personal injury lawyers have as much experience in distracted driving cases or a better record of helping their clients receive the fair and just compensation they deserve. Call today to get his skills, resources and experience on your side!

James O. Cunningham

James O. CunninghamSince 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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