If you drive from state to state, you’ll likely be confused by differences in traffic laws pertaining to cell phone use and texting. And claiming “I didn’t know” is not going to convince a police officer to cut you a break. Ignorance of the law is…..ignorance of the law!
In many states you can’t use your hands at all to operate a cell phone for calls or texts, other states allow it freely. Wikipedia has a chart for all 50 states that covers phone, texting, and restrictions, including age restrictions. Young drivers are often prohibited from using phones while driving while older drivers are permitted to do it.
The least we should be is aware of what the law says here in our home state of Florida, so let’s look at it.
In October, 2013, Florida enacted a limited ban on text messaging while driving. The law poses no limitations on cell phone use, however.
The law (Statute 316.308) states:
“A person may not operate a motor vehicle while manually typing or entering multiple letters, numbers, symbols, or other characters into a wireless communications device or while sending or reading data in such a device for the purpose of non-voice interpersonal communication, including, but not limited to, communication methods known as texting, e-mailing, and instant messaging.”
In other words, drivers in Florida can’t type into a virtual keyboard, or send or read messages. Keep in mind that even if a driver does manually enter information into a wireless device, that will not by itself result in arrest. A driver can only be charged for violation if arrested for another motor vehicle violation.
Fort Lauderdale Personal Injury Attorneys
We are personal injury attorneys with extensive experience representing victims of motor vehicle accidents, and we have seen far too many cases where people have been very seriously injured because someone was looking at their phone instead of the road. W urge people to read and understand the law, but we also recommend that people take it a step further and just don’t use your phone while driving, unless it’s an emergency. There is nothing more important than your safety and the safety of others.
Please feel free to call us if you have questions, or if you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident. We’ll be happy to sit down with you and hear your story, then recommend a course of action. Call us at 954-356-0006, and thank you.