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Featured News

Florida Ban on Testing-While-Driving

Posted August 12, 2014 in Latest News

Florida's lawmakers recently passed a statewide ban, creating the "Florida Ban on Texting While Driving Law". The bill provides for further enforcement of a ban on texting-while-driving (including e-mailing and instant messaging). A driver must be first pulled over for a violation of another traffic law before that driver may be cited for violating the texting-while-driving ban. Some exceptions to this ban include, for example, a driver may still text while the vehicle is stationary, when reporting an emergency or criminal or suspicious activity to law enforcement, when using a device or system for navigation purposes, and when receiving safety-related information. The first violation of the texting-while-driving ban is a noncriminal, nonmoving traffic violation and carries a $30 fine, plus court costs, which vary by county. A second or subsequent violation is deemed a moving violation and carries a $60 fine, plus court costs, which vary by county. In addition, repeat violators will have 3 points added to the driver’s drivers license. If a driver causes a crash while texting, 6 points will be added to the driver’s drivers license in addition to other penalties. Texting-while-driving, in conjunction with any moving violation for which points are assessed, will result in 2 points added to the driver’s driver license record if committed in a school zone.

As you can see, a driver faces graduated penalties for a second or subsequent violation committed within 5 years, or when his or her violation results in a crash or is committed within a school safety zone. In the event that a crash results in death or personal injury, a driver’s cell phone records, or oral or written testimony from those receiving text messages, may be admissible to prove whether a violation of the ban occurred.

This ban will become effective on October 1, 2013 if signed by Governor Rick Scott.