Florida Lawmakers to Reconsider the Texting While Driving Ban
Tampa Distracted Driving Attorneys
Currently, Florida drivers may only be cited for texting and driving if they are stopped for some other traffic offense, such as speeding or making an illegal lane change. However, texting while driving could soon be a primary offense in Florida. The House Transportation & Infrastructure Subcommittee approved House Bill 33 (HB 33) with a unanimous vote at Tuesday’s legislative session. Two more approvals are needed before the Bill can go to a general vote on the House floor.
Under HB 33, texting and driving would become a primary offense, meaning that Florida drivers could get pulled over if observed to be texting behind the wheel by law enforcement. The penalty for the first non-moving offense would remain the same—$30.00 fine plus court costs (with no points added to the driver’s record). While a second offense (within five years) would result in a $60.00 fine, court costs, and three points on a driver’s license. If the Bill becomes law, Florida would become the 44th state to ban texting and driving. Previous attempts to pass a similar bill have not been successful; however, HB 33 seems to have strong support from legislative leaders.
Distracted Drivers in Tampa Bay Area
Statistics show that one out of every four car accidents in the U.S. is caused by texting and driving or some other form of distracted driving. The federal government estimates that, in 2016, approximately 3,500 people were killed and more than 400,000 people were injured in the United States as a result of involvement in a distracting driving accident. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reported the occurrence of more than 50,000 distracted-driving car crashes in the State of Florida in 2016. The exact number of persons killed in texting-related accidents is unknown.
Some of the nation’s most deadly roadways are located in Florida, yet it remains one of the only states to not yet fully ban texting while driving. As stated by House Speaker Richard Corcoran, “Texting and driving presents a real, life-threatening danger to Floridians both on and off the road. The data is overwhelming and the need to act is equally compelling.” Perhaps House Bill 33 could be the first step towards safer roads.
Capaz Law Firm | Representing Victims Injured by Distracted Drivers
Regardless of the age or experience of the driver, distracted driving remains a huge danger to every single person on the road. If you have been injured in a distracted driving car accident in Tampa, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and losses. Contact the car accident attorneys at Capaz Law Firm to discuss your rights and potential claim. Our distracted driving accident lawyers will investigate your claim thoroughly and provide effective assistance through every stage of your claim. Call 813-440-2700 to schedule a consultation today.