A state representative from south Florida wants the state to crack down on texting while driving, with stricter penalties and tougher enforcement from law enforcement authorities.
Rep. Richard Stark (D-Weston) filed his proposed legislation, House Bill 47, in late November. The new bill would give law enforcement officers the power to pull over drivers on suspicion of distracted driving — something they are unable to do now. Per existing state law, the only situation in which a driver may receive a citation for distracted driving is if an officer pulls over the driver for a primary offense, such as speeding or running a red light. The bill would also increase penalties for distracted driving violations committed in school zones.
The Florida legislature will consider the bill during its regular session in 2017. Its introduction comes after traffic deaths saw a significant increase during the first half of 2016. Auto insurers, law enforcement officials and traffic safety experts have all agreed that distracted drivers have been a significant factor in this increase.
Distracted driving a national epidemic
Distracted driving is a focus of traffic safety departments across the nation. More people than ever before are using smartphones, and individuals are increasingly unable to disconnect while behind the wheel. This behavior can be incredibly dangerous, as a driver not having his or her full attention on the road makes an auto accident significantly more likely.
For more information and guidance on how to proceed after a distracted driving-related car accident, consult a skilled Bradenton personal injury attorney with Shapiro, Goldman, Babboni & Walsh.