Florida legislators recently proposed a new law that would ban all drivers aged 18 and younger from using cell phones while behind the wheel. Regular readers of this blog know that Florida lawmakers finally passed a law last spring that bans drivers from sending manual texts while driving, but allows them to read and respond to texts while stopped in traffic. If passed into law, the new bill sponsored by State Rep. Irv Slosberg, D- Boca Raton, would ban cell phone use entirely by drivers 18 and younger.
The bill (HB 5), which is filed for debate during the upcoming 2014 legislative session, would prevent minors and 18-year-olds from talking, texting, surfing and all other types of interacting with their mobile devices. If the bill were passed into law, our state’s youngest and least experienced drivers would be ticketed for a non-moving violation if caught suing their phone while driving. Rep. Slosberg has been one of the state’s fiercest advocates for cell phone bans for drivers and other traffic safety issues since the death of his daughter in 1996.
He is among many Florida lawmakers who say that the new law, which is scheduled to take effect on Oct.1, is far too watered-down to make a tangible impact on distracted driving in our state. Drivers who send and receive texts while driving will only be ticketed for a secondary offense, meaning that they will have to be pulled over for another type of violation before a law enforcement official could ticket them for breaking the new law. He and other lawmakers also claim that a $30 fine, plus court costs, for a first offense and a $60 fine for a second offense is hardly a deterrent for distracted drivers.
The current texting ban, as written, is largely ineffective for deterring distracted drivers from turning off their cellular devices and focusing on the safe operation of their vehicles. However, Mr. Cunningham has been quite effective at helping people injured by distracted drivers receive the damages they deserve to pay medical expenses and other damages. Few Orlando personal injury attorneys have a better record for helping clients receive the best possible outcome for their case or a better reputation for giving his clients and their cases the individual attention they deserve. If you have been injured by a distracted driver and would like to speak with Mr. Cunningham to learn more about the law, your rights and your legal options, call him today at 888-FLA-AUTO (888-352-2886).
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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If you or someone you love has been injured in a vehicle accident, call toll-free at 1-888-FLA-Auto (1-888-352-2886).
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