January 2, 2020

New Year, New Rules:  “As a new year begins, I am proud to give law enforcement the ability to fully enforce the Wireless Communications While Driving law,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said in a news release. From 2014 through 2018, the Sunshine State saw more than 19,000 crashes involving smartphone use. Distracted driving slows your reaction time and places you, your passengers, and others on the road in danger.

Accidents involving smartphones can result in serious injuries and even death.  Something is being done to reverse the devastating effects of smartphone use and driving. FHP troopers have launched an awareness campaign with this message: “Put it down. Focus on driving.” 

The arrival of 2020 brings a handful of changes stemming from the 2019 Florida legislative session, including final pieces of enforcing a new law that cracks down on texting and driving. On Jan. 1, 2020, law enforcement officers in Florida will begin writing tickets for drivers caught texting and driving. Authorities are now able to pull over anybody they spot texting while driving, just for that reason.

Lawyer Up: Corless Barfield Trial Group aggressively represents injury victims who have been harmed due to the negligence or recklessness of another.  By hiring an attorney, victims can fight for maximum compensation to recover the cost of medical bills, rehabilitation, pain and suffering, and lost wages.

Texting behind the wheel has become one of the greatest dangers facing motorists today. To discuss your accident case, call us at 813-258-4998 or fill out this simple form: www.corlessbarfield.com/contact

Rules of the Road: The penalty for first-time violators of the new texting and driving law is $30 plus court costs. The fee doubles to $60, plus court costs and three points added to the driver’s license in school and work zones.  The fines go up even more if you’re speeding. Expect those fines to exceed $150 once taxes, court costs, and county-regulated surcharges are added. 

Police officers can only stop a driver for texting and driving when the car is in motion. Officers cannot stop someone seen texting at a stop light unless they are impeding traffic, which would be a different citation.  By law, a driver can decline to hand over their phone, but also under the law, the officer does not need electronic proof to write a ticket.

Moreover, golf carts are a very popular way to get around Florida. The new texting and driving law impacts this mode of transportation, too. Those caught texting and driving golf carts on roadways can be found at fault by law enforcement the same as other motorists. However, those driving golf carts in gated communities or at a golf course won’t be penalized under the new law.

Our Tampa car accident attorneys are experienced in a wide range of Florida auto accidents. We will fight for the maximum compensation to help our clients fully recover. To find out how Corless Barfield Trial Group can assist you, please call 813-258-4998 today. Your confidential, initial case evaluation is 100% free. Our skilled team of distracted driving trial lawyers are ready to help you with your car accident case.