As Commercial Real Estate Brokers, we are constantly on the road. Whether we are showing office or warehouse property for rent, looking at a piece of land, or tracking down buildings for investment, the car and the cell phone are two of the most vital tools of our trade.
But whether we are working on a 600 square foot office lease or a selling a $50 million shopping center, no deal is important enough to justify putting lives at risk. That is why Brenner Real Estate Group applauds the efforts of the Florida Legislature to ban texting and driving in our state.
Beginning October 1, 2013 it is now illegal to text and drive in the State of Florida. Critics of the new law believe the measure lacks teeth. Texting while driving is now a secondary offense, meaning texting drivers can only be ticketed if they are pulled over for another traffic violation. In addition, the fine is only $30 for a first offense. And the law also has exemptions for drivers using GPS devices, talk-to-text technology and texting to report criminal behavior. Drivers are also still allowed to text while stopped for red lights. (there isn’t a measure regarding taking photos, though) Of the 41 states that have banned texting while driving, Florida is one of only four where it is a secondary rather than a primary offense.
Regardless of the weaknesses, the law is certainly a step in the right direction. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, 85 fatal accidents in 2010 and 2011 were caused by distracted drivers. It would be nice to have a tougher law, but as a parent, I can now tell my kids not only that texting while driving is dangerous, but it’s also against the law. I think if all the parents can relay that message and take it to heart themselves, the law may save some lives after all.