Florida governor signs texting and driving ban

Florida Governor Rick Scott traveled to Miami in early June to sign legislation banning texting and driving. The bill prohibits a driver from manually pressing characters such as letters, symbols or numbers into any wireless communication device, such as a cell phone. The ban will make it illegal to text, instant message and email while driving.

The legislation also prohibits reading text messages while driving. However, drivers can use a talk-to-text feature without breaking the new law. It also allows drivers to text while sitting at a red light. The bill was created in hopes of decreasing the chance of motorists becoming distracted drivers. It also seeks to reduce the percentage of teen-related traffic deaths in Florida.

The governor signed the bill at Miami Dade County’s Alonzo and Tracy Mourning Senior High School. The first violation of this law results in a $30 fine and court costs. A second or additional violation within a five year period results a $60 fine and three points on a person’s driving record.

Although this bill seeks to lower the percentage of teen auto accidents, it doesn’t take away a person’s right to sue when involved in an automobile accident. Personal injury claims often result from car accidents that result from a driver’s negligence. When a driver becomes distracted because of texting or multi-tasking, they may not give their full attention to driving. Many drivers and pedestrians who sue often seek damages such as medical bills or pain and suffering. Personal injury lawyers are available to assist individuals who want to sue another driver for causing their automobile accident.

Source: WPTV, “Governor to sign texting and driving ban in Florida”, WPTV Web Team, May 24, 2013