Car Accident Injuries Could Be Reduced
On Monday, April 8, Senator Nancy Detert's bill (SB 52) calling for a new law banning texting while behind the wheel, passed the Senate Judiciary Committee, after adding an amendment making it identical to the House measure (HB 13). The House measure was sponsored by Rep. Doug Holder, R-Venice.
April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and the National Safety Council is sponsoring an aggressive anti-distracted driving publicity campaign. Florida is still one of just a handful of states which do not have a current texting ban law on the books.
The vote represented the last committee stop for the Senate bill, with the House bill having already cleared all its committees. Now, with less than a month in session, its up to legislative leaders to schedule the measure for a final floor vote. For a variety of reasons, similar attempts to pass this type of legislation have failed the last three years in a row.
The bill would make texting while driving a “secondary” offense, meaning motorists would have to be pulled over for another reason before they could be charged. First-time violators would face a $30 fine plus court costs.
Although the penalties are mild and it is not a primary offense, Detert and Holder said that they see passing the ban as an important step in establishing the mindset in younger drivers that texting while driving a vehicle is against the law, as well as unsafe.
Other organizations, like Stay Alive Just Drive, (SAJD), run locally in Lee County by Jay Anderson, are also advocates of the new law, and regularly publish many facts and updates regarding the dangers of distracted driving to the media and through social networking sites.
Fort Myers car accident attorney Scot D. Goldberg notes that the new law could go a long way in helping to reduce the number of serious injuries sustained as a result of a distracted driver accident. “We see it all the time – distracted driving accidents are becoming about as prevalent as impaired driver crashes,” says Goldberg. “People need to realize how dangerous this can be.”
A serious injury caused by the negligence of a distracted driver can be a life-changing event. If you've been injured, call our law firm at 239-461-5508 for a free consultation about your personal situation.
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