Texting While Driving
Cell phone usage, especially texting, has become a staple in many Floridians lives. It allows us to communicate with friends, coworkers or family members quickly and efficiently. However, the rise of text-based communication means more and more people are texting while driving.
The act of texting takes a lot more concentration than you may think. It requires both mental and physical stimuli and causes the driver to take a hand off the wheel. Because of this, Florida has implemented harsh laws for texting and driving. If you receive a texting-related citation, then it could mean an expensive fine and possible points on your license.
If you believe you were ticketed unfairly, then it’s imperative you seek an experienced attorney so you can contest your ticket.
Defense Lawyer for Texting While Driving in Palm Beach County, TX
Were you ticketed recently for holding a wireless communication device or texting at the wheel? If so, then it’s important you understand the consequences you may face. A texting violation could mean expensive fines and points added to your license. In some cases, it can even cause your car insurance premium to spike.
If you believe you were ticketed wrongly, then we suggest you contest the ticket with legal representation. You don’t have to admit guilt and accept the consequences. With experienced and skilled legal counsel, you could contest and have your ticket dismissed completely. Call Meltzer & Bell, P.A. for a defense lawyer with years of ticket representation experience.
You can contact us at (561) 500-5000 to learn more about your options. Our offices are in the West Palm Beach area, but we practice throughout the greater area including Delray Beach, Boca Raton, and Jupiter, Florida.
Overview of Texting and Driving in FL
- Why Texting and Driving is So Dangerous
- Floridas New Wireless Communication Ban
- Penalties for Texting While Driving
- Additional Resources
Why Texting and Driving is So Dangerous
Driving distracted is always a risk to yourself and other drivers. However, texting is especially dangerous in comparison to other types of distracted driving such as changing the radio. That is because texting fulfills all three different types of distracted driving listed by the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). These categories include:
- Visual Distractions: Taking your eyes off the road for any non-driving reason;
- Manual Distractions: Taking your hands off the wheel for any non-driving reason; or
- Cognitive Distractions: Concentrating on something else other than driving the vehicle
Texting requires a person to engage in all three types of distraction listed by NHTSA. You must look at the phone, take your hand off the wheel to text and concentrate on texting rather than driving. This makes it nearly impossible for a driver to stop in time if a hazard appears on the road. Drivers must have sufficient time to recognize the issue, reaction distance and decide what to do next to prevent an accident. If they are texting, they won’t have any time to address the situation and are much more likely to find themselves in an accident.
Florida’s New Wireless Communication Ban
In the past, law enforcement officers didn’t have much leverage to pull over someone for texting. That’s no longer the case thanks to a new law that was implemented July 1, 2019 known as the Wireless Communications Device Ban. Now, drivers can be pulled over for using a wireless communication device such as texting on the phone.
Florida Statute Section 316.306 states law enforcement can stop a motor vehicle and issue a citation for any motorists who is actively texting and driving. The statute specifically states that if a person is manually typing multiple letters, numbers or symbols into a wireless communication device then an officer can lawfully pull them over and cite them.
In addition, the new law states that wireless communications devices are prohibited in a school or work zone. This means you cannot even hold a wireless communication device at a school crossing, work or school zone. Doing so will lead to a moving violation as well as an administrative fine.
Penalties for Texting While Driving in Florida
Texting and driving can lead to serious penalties if things get out of hand. A first-time offense is at least a $30 fine and likely won’t result in points on your driver’s license. However, if it’s your second offense within five years you will have to pay at least $60 dollars and have three points assessed against your driver’s license.
Handling your phone or other wireless communication device will automatically lead to points on your license. You will be fined at least $60 and have at the least 3 points added on your record. It’s important to understand if you violated another traffic law while texting you could be facing not just one but two traffic citations.
Put it Down: Distracted Driving – Visit the official website for the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) to learn more about the new wireless communications ban. Access the site to read more on how the law works, the penalties, why texting is dangerous and answers to frequently asked questions.
Florida’s Wireless Communication Device Ban – Visit the official website for the Florida Senate to learn more about their wireless communication device ban. Access the site to read what a wireless communication device is defined as, the penalties and how the bill was amended when it was being discussed in the senate.
Texting and Driving Lawyer in Palm Beach County, FL
It might not seem like such a huge deal when you receive a texting citation, but it can snow-ball into something much more troublesome. If you believe you were ticked unfairly, then we suggest you hire quality legal representation today. An experienced and skilled attorney can use their resources to defend you.
Contact Meltzer & Bell, P.A. to speak to a defense lawyer with the right resources, knowledge and practice to defend you. You can call us at (561) 500-5000 to set up your first consultation free. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. represents people throughout the greater Palm Beach County area including West Palm Beach, Delray Beach, Boca Raton and Jupiter.