Florida lawmakers are taking their fight against distracted driving to new levels. The state recently passed a law that makes driving in an active construction zone or in a school zone while using a hand-held phone a primary offense. This means enforcement officers can pull drivers over and issue a ticket for violating this law.
The law went into effect October 1, 2019.
What are the penalties?
The ticket alone can cost the driver a $60 fine. Additional taxes and fees may apply. The ticket will also result in a three-point penalty to the driver’s license.
The Florida Highway Patrol has stated it will use warnings until January 1, 2020. The enforcement officers state their intention is to help educate Florida drivers of their obligation to put their phone down while in these high-risk areas. After January 1, the officers will begin ticketing for the offense.
What happens if there is an accident?
State law requires drivers to operate their vehicles with care. We are all aware that the failure to do so could result in a collision. The driver may be held accountable if the crash results in the injury or death of another. The state may hold the driver accountable when an injury involves a violation of law by pursuing criminal charges, which can lead to monetary fines, loss of a driver’s license and potential imprisonment.
The injured person or persons can hold the driver accountable with a personal injury lawsuit. This allows those injured to seek monetary damages to help cover the past and future losses, costs and expenses, as well as compensate the injured parties for their injuries along with past and future pain and suffering that resulted from the crash. Examples can include the bills that accumulate to fix or replace one’s vehicle, medical expenses and lost wages.