Florida Texting and Driving Laws

Possible Changes to Florida’s 2018 Texting & Driving Laws

Florida’s texting and driving laws could be changing.  Currently the state law of Florida lists texting and driving as a secondary offense.  What that means is that officers can’t pull you over solely for driving while texting.  Instead, another offense needs to be observed in order to issue a ticket for texting and driving.

The new bill, if approved by Florida legislature, would change the secondary offense to a primary offense.  Additionally, the bill increases the penalty for texting and driving.  This bill is a result of research reported by those that filed the motion, Representatives Jackie Toledo (R) and Emily Slosberg (D).  Read more regarding Bill HB 33 here:  https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2018/33/

In Florida, in 2015, 200 fatalities and nearly 39,000 injuries were a result of over 45,000 crashes where distracted driving was a factor.  If the bill is approved, the amended 316.305 Florida Statutes would change how wireless communication devices are used when operating a motorized vehicle.  The goal of these changes is to reduce the number of texting and driving, and distracted driving incidents on Florida’s roads.

Key points of the bill would make texting and driving a primary offense and carry a $30 fine and court fee for a $108 first violation.  Additional violations recorded within 5 years of the first offense increase the fine to $158 and the violator would accrue 3 points to his or her license.  If a driver is violating the new law and a crash results, 6 points are added to the license.  Finally, two points are added to a license if the violator is texting and driving in a school zone.

If the amended bill is voted in, the changes would go into effect July 1, 2018.  Florida would follow on the footsteps of Texas which was the 47th state to ban texting and driving and to list it as a primary offense.

New technology is being introduced daily to help fight against distracted driving. One of the leading platforms is Government App Solutions. They built a mobile app that allows pedestrians and passengers (in ride sharing apps) to capture drivers who are texting while driving. Users must clearly capture the driver using his/her phone and the driver’s license plate all in the same video. While recording certain metadata is tracked, encrypted and sent to backend servers where they are digitally signed to keep and ensure that all evidence is authentic and not tampered with. Submissions are then reviewed by local law enforcement and if approved a citation will be mailed out to the registered owner.

Texting and driving continues to haunt our roadways and jeopardize lives.  Stricter penalties and increased awareness will help reduce the number of deaths reported as a result of distracted drivers.  Our goal, as a company, is to help cities and states prevent more fatalities and injuries by reminding drivers of their responsibility to safety.   Your goal, as a driver, is to put down the phone, pay attention to your surroundings, and drive safe.   With less distractions, we’ll have safer roads and less people getting hurt, or dying, from carelessness.

To find out more about Government App Solutions, find them online at www.GovernmentAppSolutions.com.


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