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How common is secondary enforcement for texting bans?

Florida is among the 46 states that prohibit all drivers from texting while driving. However, Florida’s ban is not a primary enforcement ban, but rather a secondary enforcement ban. What does this mean? It means that a citation for texting while driving generally can only be given when a violation of a different traffic law was also present. Primary enforcement, on the other hand, allows such citations to be issued independently.

Currently, here in the U.S., secondary enforcement texting-while-driving bans are far less common than primary enforcement ones. Only four other states are currently in the same camp as Florida: having a texting ban with secondary enforcement. Meanwhile, 41 states have a texting ban with primary enforcement.

One wonders if even more states will end up going to primary enforcement in the future. One also wonders if Florida will ultimately stay a secondary enforcement state or will one day shift its ban on texting while behind the wheel to being a primary enforcement ban.

While texting-while-driving laws differ from state to state, certain things about this driving conduct are true in all states. One is that, when accidents occur as a result of texting while driving, people can get severely hurt.

When a person here in Florida is hurt by a distracted driver, they can have some very important legal rights. Distracted driving accident victims in the state may want to have a discussion with a Florida personal injury lawyer about what options these rights could open up to them.

Source: Governors Highway Safety Association, “Distracted Driving Laws,” December 2016

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