Texting and driving is a huge problem in Florida and throughout the United States. Drivers who are distracted on their phones while driving often end up causing serious accidents. In an effort to combat this problem, Florida passed a law in 2013 that bans texting and driving. Florida was one of the last states to pass this law.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 3,154 people were killed and an estimated 424,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers in 2013. In April, the NHTSA launched a “U Drive. U Text. U Pay.” campaign that focused on the financial consequences and expenses of texting and driving. The United States Department of Transportation also coined a slogan to raise awareness about texting and driving: “if you’re texting, you’re not driving.”
Under Florida law, if a driver in the state is suspected of committing a traffic violation while texting, that driver can be fined up to $60. However, a person will only be fined for texting and driving as a secondary offense when coupled with the suspicion of another traffic violation. It is important to note that the statute’s express language says that a driver will not be penalized if the vehicle is parked or temporarily stopped. Another exception is if an individual is communicating with law enforcement about suspicious or dangerous activity.