Florida passes new driving law


Teens who use their phones while driving are put at a higher risk of a fatal car accident.

Daniel Taylor

Teens who use their phones while driving are put at a higher risk of a fatal car accident.

On Tuesday, Oct. 1, the Florida Legislature passed bill HB 107. This new addition to Florida’s laws limits the use of cell phones while driving. 

A small section of the law was announced on July 1, making texting while driving a primary offense. Before this, police officers could issue a warning to those pulled over for using their phones while operating a car. The July 1 addition now allows an arrest to be made for those caught texting and driving.

“Honestly it’s not a bad idea, you shouldn’t even be on your phone in the first place,” senior Matthieu Eveillard said. “Especially since most cars have bluetooth now so there’s no reason to be on your phone.” 

With this new law in play, drivers now have an incentive to stay off their phones while operating a car. During the day, there can be numerous distractions on the road, not to mention the itch to quickly check one’s cell phone.

“I feel like this makes sense because there’s always kids biking and walking around trying to get to school in the morning and afternoon so it helps prevent people who are on their phones to hit a kid when they are not paying attention,” senior Mark Decastro said.

Looking down for a split second to check Snapchat or send a text could result in catastrophic consequences. According to a study done by Edgar Snyder and Associates, a personal injury law firm, nearly 390,000 injuries occur every year due to people using their phones while driving. 

The statistics for teenagers are even more worrisome. Edgar Snyder and Associates found that 21 percent of fatal accidents involving teen drivers have occurred due to the distraction of cell phones.

“I believe that they shouldn’t be texting while they [are] driving because its an unsafe situation, and there could be many accidents due to people that just aren’t paying attention to the road,” Marine Science teacher Steven Kominsky said.

With a majority of MSD’s students walking to and from the North Community Park lot, commonly known as the junior lot among the student body, many are more than happy to see this new law put into play.