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Florida Distracted-Driving Proposal Introduced for 2013 Legislative Session

Think you can handle texting behind the wheel? Consider this: You’re heading down Interstate 75 and you’re traveling the speed limit, at 70 miles per hour. You get a text message. No problem. Just a quick response will do. The average text message takes a driver’s eyes off of the road for 4 seconds. When you’re traveling at 70 miles an hour, you can travel the entire length of a football field without ever looking at the road — each time you look at your phone.
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In the state of Florida, you’re allowed by law to use a hand-held device while driving. Florida is one of only six states in the U.S. that has yet to ban drivers from text messaging behind the wheel. But that is going to change if state Senator Maria Sachs gets her way. She recently announced her support for a bill in the upcoming session that would make all use of hand-held devices illegal while driving. The law would establish fines for text-messaging drivers, according to the Sun Sentinel.

Similar proposals have failed to make it through the lawmaking session for at least the last 5 consecutive years.

Our Cape Coral car accident lawyers understand that cell phone-use by drivers is the cause of over 100,000 crashes every year. According to national statistics, distracted driving car accidents took the lives of more than 3,300 people in 2011. Although drivers are legally free to talk on cell phones and text message in the state of Florida, we’re asking everyone to do the responsible thing and keep their eyes on the road and their focus on safety!

“It’s relevant, it’s important, and as sure as we’re standing here it’s going to save lives,” the sheriff said. “Like alcohol and driving, texting and driving doesn’t mix,” said Broward Sheriff Scott Israel.

The Democrat from Delray Beach recently made her announcement during a demonstration about the effects of distracted driving at Broward College’s Institute of Public Safety. She was joined and supported by Sheriff Israel.

Here’s how the bill would work: If a driver is busted by an officer text messaging behind the wheel, they would be pulled over and issued a citation. This would come with a fine of $100 for a first-time offense. Each offense after that would be more expensive. There would be no points on your license for this violation.

Everyone’s got a phone nowadays. Many even have two phones. It’s gotten so bad that there are more cell phone subscriptions in our country than there are U.S. residents.

Still, you’re 23 times more likely to get into an accident if you’re texting behind the wheel. So in the name of roadway safety, we’re asking drivers to acknowledge the difference between right and wrong and we’re asking you to focus your full attention on the road. There should never be a text message worth the risk of taking someone’s life. If it’s that important, pull over and deal with the text message. Don’t endanger yourself or other travelers needlessly.

Call Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, if you or someone you love has been injured in a car crash. Call today for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your case. 1-800-283-2900.

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Alligator Alley Accident Claims Two Lives, Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, January 31, 2013
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January 30, 2013