Cellphone Laws for Drivers in Florida – What You Need to Know
Most drivers know they’re taking a risk every time they hit the road, yet millions still make a habit out of eating, drinking, putting on makeup, and texting behind the wheel. Despite public awareness campaigns that were designed to spread awareness of the dangers posed by distracted driving, it remains one of the leading causes of serious accidents in the United States.
Cellphones are among the most common driver distractions, and they’re also one of the most dangerous since using a mobile device can take your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel, and your focus off the traffic around you. To prevent cellphone-related accidents, 48 states have enacted laws prohibiting motorists from texting and driving. Additionally, 19 states prohibit motorists from using a hand-held device, and 38 have banned all cellphone use for teen drivers.
If you drive in Florida, here’s what you need to know about the state’s cellphone laws:
1. There’s a Texting Ban
Drivers in Florida are prohibited from texting and driving. If police catch you doing so, you could be cited for a non-criminal traffic infraction, which carries a base fine of $30 plus applicable court costs and fees for a first offense.
Motorists who are caught texting behind the wheel will also receive three points against their license. If you accumulate at least 12 points in 12 months, you will face a 30-day license suspension. You can learn more about the state’s point system on the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles website.
2. The Texting Ban Applies to All Motorists
Florida’s texting ban applies to all motorists regardless of their age, experience, or CDL status. In other words, commercial truckers, school bus operators, and every other driver are prohibited from texting behind the wheel.
3. The Texting Ban Is a Primary Offense as of July 1, 2019
On July 1, 2019, texting while driving was converted from a secondary offense to a primary offense. That means officers have probable cause to conduct a traffic stop if they see a motorist using a hand-held device, regardless of whether the motorist is committing another offense.
4. How Can I Prove the Driver Who Hit Me Was Texting?
There are many kinds of evidence your lawyer might use to prove the driver who hit you was texting at the time of the crash. Such evidence may include:
- The driver’s cellphone records;
- Eyewitness testimony;
- Photographs of the wreckage;
- Statements from accident reconstruction experts;
- The official police report;
- Dash cam footage; and
- Recordings from surveillance cameras near the scene.
Call 772-266-5555 for a Free Consultation with a Florida Car Accident Attorney
If you were hurt in an accident with a distracted driver, you may be entitled to compensation for all resulting damages. To determine the most strategic way to proceed, contact Donaldson & Weston.
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