Florida Texting While Driving Laws
Texting while driving, as you probably know, has grown into a modern epidemic of sorts in relation to car crash statistics. More and more car crashes occur every year due to driving distracted with a cell phone. Comparatively, this issue is unique legislatively for two reasons. First of all, it's an issue that can vary from state to state in how it's treated, but it's also a relatively new talking point in that it concerns modern technology. As a result, it's very important to understand the ins and outs of texting while driving laws in different states. For example, if you’re looking for a Bradenton, FL, personal injury lawyer for texting while driving, you should probably have a good understanding of the Florida state laws.
What the Law Prohibits: It’s Not Just Texting
One primary objective that the law is clearly trying to pass is to get away from the phrase ”texting while driving” because with the growth in smartphone technologies, there's considerably a lot more you can do with your phone that could distract you from driving. For this reason, the law states that any typing with the intention of communication is prohibited behind the wheel.
However, the law goes further. In addition to typing and sending, you're not even allowed to read such messages either. Not only does this reduce additional distraction, it works to prevent you from being tempted to reply upon seeing a message.
What Happens When You Are Caught
In the state of Florida, laws are split into two categories of enforcement: primary and secondary offenses. Primary offenses are those that can warrant penalty upon doing them. For example, you can be pulled over for running a red light. In this case, running a red light is a primary offense. On the other hand, a secondary offense is an illegal action that may warrant the occurrence of a primary offense. In other words, if something has caused you to commit a primary offense, that action may be considered a secondary offense. Texting while driving is one such secondary offense. For example, if you run a red light and the police officer on duty determines that you were texting while driving while doing so, you will be cited for both the primary offense of running the red light, as well as the secondary offense of texting while driving. What this means is that you cannot be pulled over for just texting while driving.
However, texting while driving is proven to be the cause of many accidents and traffic violations. As a result, much trouble can arise from texting and driving, from time wasted in court to the extensive work of personal injury defense lawyers. In any case, it's much better to keep off your phone while you're behind the wheel.