Florida’s residents and visitors must know the driving laws to avoid tickets and ensure all road users are safe while operating their vehicles. One of the ways motorists can reduce the risk of being involved in collisions is by avoiding habits like eating, adjusting their radio, or talking to passengers in their vehicle while operating a vehicle. One extremely dangerous habit is messaging people while operating your vehicle, because it involves removing your eyes from the road, removing your hand from the steering wheel, and thinking about something else other than operating your vehicle for more than 5 seconds. To reduce vehicle crashes, have safer road conditions, and reduce deaths, injuries, and property damage, Florida made it illegal to be texting while driving your vehicle.
How to understand Florida’s Ban
According to the statute, if your vehicle is not moving, then you are not operating it and you will not be penalized for using your phone. Therefore, you can send emails, and messages and make calls when you are stuck in traffic, or when you are waiting for a red light. However, as soon as you start operating your vehicle, you need to put your hands on the wheel immediately and keep your eyes locked on the road. Messaging while operating your vehicle is now treated as a main offense. This means that if a police officer suspects you were messaging while operating your vehicle, he or she can pull you over and give you a warning. In the past, the police were only allowed to issue tickets to motorists who were captured driving erratically.
Additionally, there are a few exceptions to the law. For instance, the law doesn’t apply to firefighters, law enforcement officers, or emergency medical personnel who are actively on duty. Furthermore, the law will not apply to you if you are reporting emergencies or criminal activities to officers, or if you are using your phone for radio broadcasts, navigation, or receiving important alerts and weather updates. You can use a hand-free Bluetooth device to receive phone calls that aren’t too distracting. However, if you are using wireless headphones, you will have to leave one ear open.
Work and school zones are protected.
Even though the law allows you to be on your phone when you are not operating your vehicle, such as when you are stuck in traffic, you cannot do this in specific areas, like school and work zones. Drivers need to be aware of their surroundings when they’re in these areas. School zones are designed to have speed limits at a speed that is not dangerously fast. This is to ensure that school children are safe to walk around the area, especially when they are being dropped off or picked up. The same goes for work zones as construction people are trying to do their job safely. If you are not paying attention to these workers, your car could cause some severe damage.
All motorists must follow the statute to keep all road users safe. When you follow the law, you will not only avoid traffic citations but also help to ensure that all other motorists, passengers, and passers-by are safe. You have a responsibility to keep everyone around safe when you’re behind the wheel. Failure to abide by safety precautions can prove to be deadly. To prevent collisions, you should put your hand-held device away and do everything you need before beginning to operate your vehicle. Always keep your eyes on the road and be aware of your surroundings.