Imagine if texting and driving resulted in a $10,000 fine and a year in prison. How important is that text to your friend that you’re running five minutes late? That’s the reality if you get caught texting and driving in Alaska. Texting while driving causes 1.6 million accidents each year, according to the National Safety Council. However, in Florida, not only do you have to get pulled over for something else (like speeding) but violators face a mere $30.00 fine for the first offense. Shouldn’t the punishment be more severe in Florida? Statistically, the risk of getting into a crash is 23 times higher if you’re texting while driving. Decreasing car accidents would in turn into lower healthcare costs, health insurance rates and auto insurance rates. However, after your first violation, any subsequent violations within a 5 year period are considered “moving violations” and you would get points on drivers’ licenses. So while the $30.00 fine may not intimidate you, points on your drivers’ license may result in increased auto insurance premiums or your auto insurance company dropping you entirely.
In Florida alone, over 4,500 accidents were attributed to drivers being distracted by their cell phones. Pay attention to the road – that text can wait.