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Shanice Patrella
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Shanice Patrella   My Press Releases

FL Says WHAAT?! - Texting & Driving

Published on 7/29/2013
For additional information  Click Here

An issue that has been extremely controversial lately in Florida is the texting while driving ban that had been signed by Governor Rick Scott on May 29th, 2013. It had recently gone into affect for Florida drivers and many people are having mixed feelings about it. 

If any of you readers have ever driven around on busy Florida roads like Interstate 4, Interstate 95, International Drive, etc. you could probably agree with me that the ban is definitely a good step in making Florida roads safer. That was exactly the intent of Florida lawmakers -- to "prevent crashes related to the act of text messaging while driving a motor vehicle" and to "reduce injuries, deaths, property damage, health care costs, health insurance rates, and automobile insurance rates related to motor vehicle crashes." I cannot tell you how many times I have seen people not only texting, but reading a book, putting on make up, and doing homework. 

Completely outrageous!

The biggest controversy that people have with this ban is the large and gaping flaw in the legislation. This violation is listed as a "secondary offense" which is defined as "an offense for which a driver or a passenger can receive a citation but only after a driver has been pulled over for a primary offense". Some examples of primary offenses are not wearing seat belts, failure to stop at a stop sign, driving over the speeding limit, etc. So in effect, you would only be able to receive a citation for texting while driving if you are committing another offense.

A report from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles recorded 196 crashes in 2012 that involved drivers who said that they were texting at the time of the accident. These accidents resulted in nine serious injuries and one death. Many people would find that these numbers are insignificant to the total scheme of things, but imagine if these accidents could have been avoided.

The other flaw that this law has many exceptions to information that you may input into your phone while driving. There are total 7 exceptions that are listed the first of which are as follows:

"(b) Paragraph (a) does not apply to a motor vehicle
 operator who is: 1. Performing official duties as an operator of an authorized emergency vehicle as defined in s. 322.01, a law enforcement or fire service professional, or an emergency medical services professional. 2. Reporting an emergency or criminal or suspicious activity to law enforcement authorities. 3. Receiving messages that are: a. Related to the operation or navigation of the motor vehicle; b. Safety-related information, including emergency, traffic, or weather alerts; c. Data used primarily by the motor vehicle; or d. Radio broadcasts. 4. Using a device or system for navigation purposes." 

There are quite a few more that are listed, and you can take a look at the full bill located at THIS LINK. It is rumored that the Florida House of Representatives is working on revising this law to make texting while driving a primary offense, I would not expect that to come to fruition any time soon.
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