Sinclair Law Responds to New Florida Texting and Driving Law

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Personal injury lawyer sees enforcement issues, unproductive legislation.

Motorcycle Lawyer in Florida
[S]ome defects in the law may render it unenforceable, according to Brad Sinclair ... the sole proprietor at Sinclair Law.

Earlier this week, Governor Scott signed into law Fla. SB 52, which is designed to ban the practice of texting and driving in the state. The practice has been proven to be dangerous, and public service announcements throughout the country have been bringing this danger to light for youth who have grown up with the devices. The law has been applauded by major wireless providers and the Florida Department of Transportation. However, some defects in the law may render it unenforceable, according to Brad Sinclair, a personal injury and motorcycle accident attorney located in Melbourne, Fla., and the sole proprietor at Sinclair Law.

“This law, though well-intentioned, is written in such a way as to render it ineffective,” claims Sinclair. “First, and perhaps most importantly, is the fact that this law is written to be enforced exclusively as a secondary offense. This means that a law enforcement officer cannot pull someone over solely for texting and driving, but that there must be some other, primary offense first.”

Even if texting and driving were made a primary offense, however, Sinclair has doubts that enforcement could be consistent. “There are numerous exceptions in the bill as to what does and does not constitute illegal use of a handheld device,” says Sinclair. “The law explicitly exempts several types of text messages, such that what the messages say is an important factor in whether or not someone has broken the law. Thus, in order to enforce the law fairly, law enforcement officers would have to search text message archives, which is a major intrusion on the privacy of the individual and could even be considered an unconstitutional search and seizure.”

Passage of the law makes Florida the 41st state to adopt a texting ban on all drivers; six states have partial bans on the practice, usually only banning new drivers. In 31 states and D.C., texting and driving is a primary offense, meaning that someone can be pulled over for texting and driving, even if no other moving violations are cited.

About Sinclair Law

With over 25 years of personal injury and wrongful death legal experience, Brad Sinclair is a personal injury lawyer who has been providing his legal expertise to victims in personal injury cases all throughout Brevard County, including the areas of Palm Bay, Cocoa Beach, and Titusville. Sinclair Law specializes in personal injury cases involving motorcycle accidents, automotive accidents, and truck accidents, and staffs former insurance claims adjustors to help with each case. Visit today for more information.

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