Caring & Experienced Panama City Attorney

Texting While Driving Ban in Florida

As of October 1, 2013, the state of Florida has begun to implement changes to their laws on texting while driving. It is now illegal to text and drive, but it is only a secondary offense. This means that a police officer cannot pull you over just because you were using a handheld device while operating a vehicle—you have to be committing some other unlawful action. If you were driving recklessly, speeding or running through stop signs while on your phone, then this would be cause for a law officer to pull you over. For those drivers that are pulled over for a secondary offense of texting while driving, they are not obligated to hand over their phone in question to the police.

Drivers are still allowed to text, email and surf the internet while sitting at traffic signals. In addition, they can still use voice activated text messaging and can talk on the phone while driving. While it is just a small step, many believe it is in the right direction. From 2010 to 2011, there were approximately 85 collisions that resulted in fatalities due to distracted driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. For now, this new law is more of a deterrent than anything. A first offense ticket is only $30 and with all the stipulations in place, it is proving difficult for law officers to cite individuals they see using phones on the road.

Since this law has been active for 30 days, law officers have had a bit of a difficult time getting the word out about the law and administering citations. This is partly due to the long list of exemptions that are hindering police from really cracking down on texting and driving. You can read more about this and other relevant articles related to this new law below:

If you have been unfairly stopped for texting and driving or you have been injured due to a distracted driver, Seaton Law Offices, P.A. We are competent and capable at handling both criminal cases and personal injury claims throughout Panama City, Florida. Making ourselves available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, we can be reached at (800) 688-8982! Devoted to each of our clients, we perform all the necessary preparation that is required of a solid case. Allow our knowledgeable team of Panama City attorneys to work with you today, protecting your rights and your future well-being. Offering a free and confidential case evaluation, what are you waiting for? Fill it out here and let us look over your case today.