The start of another year and another decade is upon us, which traditionally means that it is time to focus on new goals. From health goals to financial goals, we all have something we can work towards in the New Year. As you get set to make your resolutions, consider adding a pledge to not text and drive to your list.
The dangers of distracted driving are both scary and real. As cited in a report by The Zebra, “Texting and Driving Statistics 2019,” texting while driving is six times more likely to cause a car accident than drunk driving. Even something as seemingly innocent as sending one simple text message while driving could have deadly and life-altering consequences.
The widespread problem of distracted driving is incredibly serious. The state of Florida has taken notice of the rampant issue, and in mid-2019, it enacted a new texting and driving law. At first, drivers were given warnings if they were caught breaking the law, but beginning in January, tickets will be issued.
As of January 1, 2020, drivers will be ticketed for texting and driving. On July 1, 2019, the new texting and driving Florida law went into effect. During the first six months, warnings were issued for anyone caught violating the new law. However, beginning January 1, 2020, police officers will begin issuing tickets for texting and driving violations. This means that you can be issued a citation if:
- You are a driver who is texting while your car is in motion.
- You are a driver who uses your phone for any purpose while in school zones or construction zones. Phone use is 100% prohibited in these areas. The only exception is the use of your phone for emergency communication.
Penalties for texting and driving in Florida are as follows:
- $30 ticket for your first offense plus court costs and fees (non-moving violation and no points assessed)
- $60 ticket for your second offense within five years plus court costs and fees (moving violation with three points assessed against your license)
- If you are issued a ticket for using a phone in a school zone or construction zone, you will automatically be issued a moving violation with three points assessed against your license and a $60 fine plus court costs and fees.
Texting and driving can have devastating consequences that can remain with you for your whole life. Just a few moments with your eyes off of the road is extremely dangerous. Please consider resolving with your loved ones to not text and drive this New Year. There are plenty of apps and phone setting options to help you along the way. For example, iPhone offers a “Do Not Disturb” option that, once turned on, will limit incoming phone calls to ring only through Bluetooth devices and will hold your text messages while your car is in motion unless someone replies with the word “urgent.”
If you have been seriously injured in a car accident due to the negligence of another driver, you may be able to seek compensation for your damages. If you have any questions, call our office and ask for one of our attorneys. We can be reached at (305) 662-6178.