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Texting behind the wheel: A violation of the law

Texting is a hazard behind the wheel, but despite that, many people do it, anyway. Why? They feel they need to respond to the messages, emails and calls they receive immediately.

The world is fast-paced, and that does make people more impatient. It prepares people to take risks just to make sure they get things done quickly. Unfortunately, that kind of attitude has the potential to lead to a serious crash.

Is texting while driving legal in Florida?

As of Oct. 1, 2013, texting while driving is illegal. Those who text behind the wheel and get caught face a ticket for the first offense. The ticket is relatively minor, costing the driver only $30 per offense as of the date of the law.

Not all use of electronics is illegal. Some actions, like checking a map, issuing voice commands and listening to music is approved as long as drivers are paying attention to the road.

Does texting affect a person's license?

It depends. Texting is a secondary offense, which means that an officer must pull you over for another traffic violation before he or she can cite you with texting behind the wheel. On a first offense, no points go on a license for a texting violation. However, if the texting took place in a school zone, then two points go onto the license. If texting results in a crash, the driver faces six points on his or her license.

Texting and driving is dangerous, which is why it is banned when driving. If you're in an accident because a driver isn't paying attention, you'll see immediately how serious taking your eyes off the road for even a few seconds really is. Those individuals could cause serious injuries or deaths because they couldn't wait to pull over before sending a text message.

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