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Distracted Driving

You might be surprised to learn that distracted driving is one of the leading causes for accidents in the United States. In 2017 alone, the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that 3,166 people died from a distracted driving-related incident. Because of these statistics, Florida harshly punishes drivers who aren’t of their surroundings.

Distracted driving can come in various forms from changing the radio to texting at the wheel. Any activity not related to driving could be considered distracted driving if it proves to be a visual or manual distraction. In addition, Florida recently passed an electronics-while-driving ban. The Florida Ban on Wireless Communications Devices While Driving authorizes officers to stop any driver who is using a wireless communications device while driving. 

Traffic Attorney for Distracted Driving in West Palm Beach, FL

Florida has implemented harsh distracted driving laws as a way to reduce accidents on the road. Now, officers can stop you at any time for as little as holding a wireless communication device while driving. Although the fine may seem minor, the points are not. If you receive enough points on your driving record, then you could have your licenses suspended.

Fight back by contacting Meltzer & Bell, P.A. for quality legal representation. Our traffic ticket lawyers understand the ins and outs of traffic laws in Florida. Utilizing their knowledge, resources, and network our attorneys can do whatever we can to contest your ticket. Call (561) 500-5000 now to learn more about our practice.

Meltzer & Bell, P.A. represents people throughout the greater Palm Beach County area including West Palm Beach, Delray Beach and Jupiter.

Overview of Distracted Driving in FL

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What Does Florida Consider to be Distracted Driving?

When the topic of distracted drivers come up, we immediately think of cell phone use. While it’s true that most distracted driving offenses are related to phones, it’s not the only type of distracted driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration defines the term “distracted driving” as anything that takes your attention away from the road.

As you can imagine, this can encompass a long list of activates. Some common distracted driving activities include:

  • Talking on the phone
  • Texting
  • Eating and/or drinking
  • Navigating/using a GPS
  • Applying makeup or engaging in other personal grooming
  • Rubbernecking
  • Attending to children or pets
  • Changing the radio or music
  • Talking to other passengers
  • Using social media sites or apps
  • Checking email
  • Using a phone’s camera or video app
  • Reading 

These activates all fall under one or more of three distinct types of distractions, according to the NHTSA. These three main types of distractions include: 

  • Visual Distractions – When a driver takes their eyes off the road to look at something unrelated to the task of driving such as rubbernecking to see an accident;
  • Mental Distractions – When a driver’s mind wanders from the task at hand and mental concentration is required for that task; and
  • Manual Distractions – When a driver takes one or both hands off the wheel to perform another activity unrelated to driving 

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Florida’s New Wireless Communications Ban

In the past, Florida has used legislation to fight distracted drivers. However, laws designed to fight it such as the texting ban weren’t effectively reducing the number of distracted drivers on the road. Now, Florida legislators have passed a new law that bans all wireless communications devices while driving where violation can lead to points on your license and a fine. 

Under Florida Statutes Section 316.305, it states law enforcement are lawfully allowed to stop motor vehicles who are manually typing or entering letters, numbers or symbols into a wireless communications device. It also states a person is prohibited from holding a wireless communications device in a school or work zone. The only exceptions to the law include authorized emergency vehicles, reporting criminal activity to law enforcement, receiving messages related to traffic safety, or using the device for navigational purposes.

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Penalties for Driving Distracted in Florida

The new wireless communication device ban has implemented harsh penalties for distracted drivers.  A first-time offense will result in a $30 fine and no points will be added to your license. Having a second offense within five years upgrades the citation to a moving traffic violation. The base fine will be $60 and 3 points will be added to your license as a result. 

Using a device in a hands-free school or work zone is automatically a moving traffic violation. You will be fined with a base fee of $60 and have three points assessed to your license. It’s important to understand if the officer saw you violate a traffic law in addition to using a wireless communications device, then it could mean you’re stuck with two traffic citations.

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Additional Resources

Florida’s Wireless Communication Device Ban – Visit the official website for the Florida Senate to read the statutory language for the Wireless Communication Device Ban. Access the site to learn more about what a wireless communication device is under the law, exceptions to the law and what officers are required to do during a stop.

Florida’s Point Suspension System – Visit the official website for the Florida Department of Highway and Motor Vehicle Safety (DHSMV) to learn more about the driver’s license point system. Access the site to learn how many points lead to a suspension, points for certain violations, and how to get points taken off your license. 

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Distracted Driving Defense Lawyer in Palm Beach County, FL

If you have been ticketed for distracted driving unfairly, then we suggest you gain legal representation quickly. A distracted driving offense may mean points to your license and an expensive fine. Multiple violations may mean a driver’s license suspension and even an increased premium. Fight back now by gaining legal counsel with Meltzer & Bell, P.A..

Contact the defense attorneys at (561) 500-5000 to learn more about how we can help you fight your ticket. We have practiced traffic defense for years and understand what it takes to fight a ticket. We represent people in all areas of Palm Beach County including Boca Raton and Jupiter, FL.

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Meltzer & Bell, P.A.

Lawrence Meltzer & Steven Bell

Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Super Lawyers Martindale-Hubble
Meltzer & Bell, P.A.
Palm Beach
515 N Flagler Dr #240
West Palm Beach, FL 33401
(561) 557-8686
110 SE 6th St Suite 1749
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
(954) 745-7457