Florida clamps down on fans texting at the wheel

The Floridiens are big fans of texting at the wheel, even if the law forbids it. In the eyes of tourists from quebec, circulate on the roads of the Sunshine State has almost become an ” extreme sport “, given the overwhelming number of drivers who adopt this behavior.

To encourage drivers to change their habits, the governor Ron DeSantis has decided to tighten the screws, giving more power to the police as soon as this summer.

Now, texting while driving will no longer be considered a secondary infringement, but as a primary designated offence.

“Before, the police officer could not arrest you simply for having texté at the wheel. It was necessary first to have committed a separate violation such as running a red light, ” says Nancy Lapierre, a lawyer, and a member of the Bar of Florida representing Canadians injured in accidents of all kinds in the United States.

“If, however, you textiez at the time of the fire to burn red, the police could then take action against the principal offence, but also to have texté at the wheel. Now, he can arrest you for simply texté “, she adds.

The deterrent effect

Remains to be seen whether the sentences will be sufficiently salty to curb the reckless, since for a first offense, the amount will be only $ 30 and $ 60 for a recurrence. Each time, three demerit points will be added to the folder of the driver. In Florida, as soon as a person reaches 12 demerit points, his licence is revoked for a year.

For Quebec residents, offenders, and has a licence in Quebec is valid, no point demerit will be brought to their folder.

According to Me Lapierre, the new provisions of the law should have a deterrent effect.

“It’s a bit the same principle as for the bans to park. In general, the motorists attention, because they don’t want to be hurt by such fines, ” she said.

Texting while at a red light

These new provisions will not apply if the vehicle is stopped at a red light or paralyzed in traffic. Other exceptions exist, such as entering a destination into the GPS of his phone while driving.

Although driving with a cell phone in the hand is always allowed, the law in florida the ban in a school zone and construction zone.

The new provisions of the act will come into force on the 1st July, but will not apply the January 1, 2020. By then, the police will make the awareness.