An Overview of Texting While Driving Laws in Florida
Distracted driving is dangerous driving. There is perhaps no more common—or more dangerous—type of distracted driving than texting. As noted by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), texting and driving contributes to tens of thousands of motor vehicle accidents in the state each year.
To address the safety problem, Florida lawmakers passed a bill banning texting while driving and imposing penalties on motorists who violate it. Here, our Miami car accident lawyers highlight the most important things that drivers should know about Florida’s texting laws and explain your rights if you are injured in a distracted driving crash.
Florida Law: Texting and Driving
On July 1st, 2019, the Wireless Communications While Driving Law went into effect in Florida. Under the law (Florida Statutes § 316.305), state and local police officers can stop and cite motorists for texting while driving as a primary offense. However, the legal penalties for violating the law are quite modest.
- First-Time Texting and Driving Offense: For a first-time violation, a driver caught texting can be fined $30. No points will be issued.
- Sensitive Area Texting and Driving Offense: Notably, if a motorist is caught in a school-zone or construction work-zone, the fine is doubled ($60) and three points will be issued.
- Second-Time Texting and Driving Offense: Finally, for all second-time texting and driving offenses within a five-year period, the fine is $60 and three demerit points will be assessed on the offender driver’s license.
In Florida, a texting and driving citation is not by itself sufficient to result in a criminal charge or a suspended license. Though, as points may be assessed, such a ticket could trigger a suspension for certain drivers who already have demerit points on their record.
Texting While Driving is Negligence: Injured Victims are Entitled to Compensation
In Florida, drivers have a basic responsibility to take proper care when behind the wheel. Failure to do so is negligence. A negligent driver can be held legally responsible for a crash that results in serious injuries or fatalities. If you or your loved one was hurt in a crash with someone you believe was texting while driving, it is imperative that you consult with a skilled attorney as soon as possible.
A lawyer will review your case, explain your options, and take action to investigate the collision—gathering the information and evidence needed to prove texting and driving. In some cases, this may include cell phone records. You deserve full and fair compensation for your injuries, including for any medical expenses, rehabilitative care, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
Call Our Miami, FL Car Accident Attorney for Guidance and Support
At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our Florida car accident lawyers are results-driven representatives for injured victims and their families. If you or your loved one was hurt in a texting and driving collision, we are more than ready to help. Call us now for a no cost, no commitment initial consultation. Our personal injury attorneys represent car crash victims in Miami, West Palm Beach, and beyond.