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December 29, 2012

Will Florida finally pass a substantive ban on texting while driving? James O. Cunningham and other Orlando personal injury lawyers certainly hope so. The most recent attempt to enact a texting ban in Florida was filed in the Senate on Nov. 21. If passed, the bill (SB 52) would ban drivers from sending or reading texts, emails and other electronic messages while driving but would not prevent them from reading weather alerts, maps and other navigational tools and safety information.

SB 52 was filed by Sen. Nancy Detert, R-Venice, and would be a “secondary offense,” meaning that a police officer could only issue a ticket for texting while driving if the driver has been stopped for another violation. The most recent attempt by Florida legislators to pass a texting ban is being following closely by people outside the legal and law enforcement communities. Kenisha Murphy is a third-year psychology student at Florida State University who is hopeful that lawmakers will finally pass some type of ban on texting while driving.

“I’ve been in three accidents in Tallahassee this year because of people not paying attention,” Murphy said. “Two-thirds were because of phone distractions.”

If SB 52 is signed into law, violations would be treated as a nonmoving violation, and drivers would face fines up to $30.

Collier County Sheriff Kevin Rambosk is one of many law enforcement professionals who would like to see Florida join the vast majority of other states in implementing some type of texting ban. Florida is one of only seven states that do not currently have a ban on texting while driving.

“I believe this is the best opportunity to get something going,” he said. “So many lives can be spared if every state enforces this law.”

This is the third time in as many years that Sen. Detert has sponsored a texting ban bill in the Florida legislature. The previous two attempts died in the House despite bipartisan support. Although SB 52 has been passed in the Senate, it still must gain approval in the House. Former House Speaker Dean Cannon, R-Winter Park, blocked the previous proposals in his chamber, saying that passage would infringe on citizens’ personal liberties.

You have to wonder which of the following scenarios represents a greater infringement on personal liberties: a state law that prevents drivers from sending and receiving texts while driving a vehicle weighing thousands of pounds or a negligent driver who causes a rear-end accident that results in serious injuries because he had to respond to a text.

Mr. Cunningham and other Orlando distracted driving attorneys would say that the latter scenario is certainly the greater infringement on personal liberties. If you or a member of your immediate family has been injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, you may be able to seek damages against the at-fault party and his or her insurance company. For more information about the law, your rights and your legal options, call Mr. Cunningham today at 888-FLA-AUTO (888-352-2886) to schedule a free consultation.

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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15 Florida Locations

Orange County:
Orlando, FL

500 Delaney Avenue #404
Orlando, FL 32801
Phone: 407-425-2000

Seminole County:
Lake Mary, FL

300 International Parkway #100
Lake Mary, FL 32746
Phone: 407-487-4408

Osceola County:
Kissimmee, FL

17 S. Orlando Ave.
Kissimmee, FL 34741
Phone: 407-966-4408

Volusia County:
Daytona Beach, FL

1301 Beville Rd., Suite 8
Daytona Beach, FL 32119
Phone: 386-243-4994

Volusia County:
DeBary, FL

465 Summerhaven Drive, Suite C
DeBary, FL 32713
Phone: 386-320-3911

Volusia County:
Deland, FL

120 South Woodland Blvd.
Deland, FL 32720
Phone: 386-206-1264

Citrus County:
Inverness, FL

110 North Apopka Ave.
Inverness, FL 34453
Phone: 352-205-4341

Polk County:
Lakeland, FL

1102 S. Florida Ave., Suite 104
Lakeland, FL 33803
Phone: 863-968-7551

Polk County:
Winter Haven, FL

325 Avenue A, N.W.
Winter Haven, FL 33881
Phone: 863-968-7173

Hillsborough County:
Tampa, FL

100 S. Edison St. Suite D
Tampa, FL 33606
Phone: 813-355-9772

Marion-Sumter Counties:
The Villages, FL

3420 U.S. Hwy. 27/441
Fruitland Park, FL 34731
Phone: 352-419-0825

Lake County:
Mt. Dora, FL

Mt. Dora, FL
Phone: 352-436-4696

Lake County:
Clermont, FL

3721 S Hwy 27, Suite A
Clermont, FL 34711
Phone: 352-503-4674

Brevard County:
Titusville, FL

506 S. Palm Ave.
Titusville, FL 32780
Phone: 321-222-7300

Brevard County:
Cocoa, FL

96 Willard Street, Suite 206
Cocoa, FL 32922
Phone: 321-757-1373

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  • I was involved in a motor vehicle accident where the other driver ran a red light and my car was a total loss. I was referred to James Cunningham due to the fact that our attorney’s have been very impressed with James Cunningham’s work. This fact turned out to be very true… A Personal Injury Client
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