A few days I ago I published a blog on Florida and its weak texting and driving laws. Florida is one of the few states that has texting and driving as a secondary offense which simply means in Florida, you can drive at highway speeds next to a cop, take out your cell phone, start texting, and there is nothing the police officer can do. Thus, preventing texting and driving in Florida has been a failure of epic proportions.
In Virginia, listen up Florida- a Senator is taking cell phone use to another level. Currently, there is a bill being proposed by Senator Scott Surovell of Fairfax County, that would make it illegal just to use your cell phone while driving, unless it is in hands-free mode.
“Right now, if you’re driving your car, you could actually be browsing the internet, playing Pokemon Go, playing Angry Birds and it’s completely legal,” –Surovell.
I wish Surovell would come to Florida. That is the only logical conclusion one can make when it comes to cell phone use and driving. Senator Surovell and the state of Virginia are not alone. Maryland and Washington D.C. has similar laws restricting cell phone use to hands-free.
As it is, a witty driver only has to say “I wasn’t texting. I was scrolling on my phone, looking to call my mother and tell her how much I love her,” and there is nothing a police officer could do, when in reality, the driver may have been responding to a friend on Facebook or Tweeting.
Of course, Surovell has been criticized. Some have made the same stale argument that not everyone could afford bluetooth technology. Apparently, they can afford gas, insurance, a car, and a cell phone, but not a $5 headset. Or, here’s an idea, cell phone providers could provide headsets at the time of purchase where a portion of the proceeds are used for public education on the dangers of texting and driving. Or, since I tend to like the extreme, take away their cell phones. If you use your car during the commission of a crime, your car gets impounded. How is this any different? Confiscate the phone along with a heavy fine, and donate the phone to a woman’s shelter or to the less fortunate.
As an attorney for nineteen years in the areas of bankruptcy and personal injury, here is one of my first blogs that provides a perspective on what my clients have to deal with emotionally, psychologically, and financially, due to an accident.