Cell phone use while driving causes thousands of accidents every year in Florida and across the US, especially when texting is involved. Each state’s laws surrounding cell phone use while driving vary significantly. This can make it confusing for residents to know what is or isn’t legal in certain areas.
Here’s a comprehensive look at Florida’s texting and driving laws and what you need to know in order to stay safe and legal on the road.
Texting and Driving
In October of 2013, Florida law placed a ban on texting while operating a vehicle. The law states:
“A person may not operate a motor vehicle while manually typing or entering multiple letters, numbers, symbols, or other characters into a wireless communications device or while sending or reading data in such a device for the purpose of nonvoice interpersonal communication, including, but not limited to, communication methods known as texting, e-mailing, and instant messaging.”
Although texting is technically illegal under Florida state law, it’s not a primary offense – meaning a driver cannot be pulled over by a Florida police officer solely because of cell phone use. This makes the texting and driving ban a “secondary law.”
Texting and Driving as a Secondary Law
Labeling the texting ban as a secondary law means that in order to be charged with a texting violation, a driver must also commit another violation.
For example, if texting causes a driver to fail to stop for a pedestrian, he or she can be pulled over for a failure to yield, and a texting violation may be added on as an additional charge. Texting while driving is not enough on its own to warrant a ticket from a police officer.
Staying safe on the road should be a top priority for Florida drivers.
If you’ve been in a car accident, the experienced team at Lorenzo & Lorenzo has the experience and know-how to help you navigate the legal system and receive compensation. Contact us today for a free consultation.