Upping the penalty for texting while driving

Upping the penalty for texting while driving A new bill being considered by Florida lawmakers would mean that drivers who cause fatal accidents while texting could face a 30-year prison sentence. The bill is being sponsored by Rep. Irv Slosberg and seeks to serve as a sobering deterrent to those who engage in this extremely risky and potentially deadly behavior.

Many states have passed laws that address texting while driving and other types of distracted driving. Just a few months ago, Florida made texting while driving a secondary offense, meaning a driver would have to have committed another infraction that’s considered a primary offense in order to be pulled over and fined for texting. Many blasted the secondary offense legislation as being far too lenient. Rep. Slosberg said if the 30-year prison sentence bill does not pass this year, he intends to reintroduce the legislation in 2015. In addition, the representative also intends to file another bill during the next session which would move texting while driving from a secondary offense to a primary offense.

The current bill addresses not only texting, but any use of an electronic device where entry is required. That includes typing an address into a GPS system and surfing the Internet to check email, Facebook or other tasks. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), distracted drivers cause about 10 fatalities and 1,060 injuries each day in the U.S. About 27% of distracted drivers involved in fatal crashes are between the ages of 20 and 27 years, and among even younger drivers involved in fatal crashes, one in 10 were reported to have been distracted when those crashes occurred. Alarmingly, the U.S. Department of Transportation reports that at any waking moment in the U.S., nearly 700,000 drivers are using cell phones or electronic devices while behind the wheel. A report from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles released this month revealed that across the state last year, about 39,000 crashes involved distracted drivers. The crashes caused 201 deaths and more than 33,000 injuries.

If you’ve been involved in a car accident, you need to get legal guidance right away. Even minor accidents can have long-lasting physical and psychological effects, some of which may not become apparent until well after the accident. That’s in addition to the cost of medical care, lost wages and pain and suffering. Speaking to a car accident lawyer in Tampa as soon as possible is the best way to make sure your rights are protected. Call the Baird law Group today at (813) 849.2679 or visit our site at https://bairdlawgroup.com/ to learn more.