Posted on 08/01/22

Florida Bill Strikes Back At Truckers Who Distract Drivers

Florida Bill Strikes Back At Truckers Who Distract Drivers

The Florida House of Representatives sponsored the "Department of Motor Vehicle Safety and Motor Vehicle Bill" or HB 7125. This bill describes how distracted driving will be dealt with not only for everyday drivers but also for commercial truckers.

The bill was approved by the Florida House of Representatives. The bill clarifies and details many laws that impact everyday Florida drivers. It also sets limits and penalties for many aspects of commercial transportation in Florida, including distracted driving.

According to Nationwide insurance company, 83 percent of drivers think distracted driving is a serious or very serious problem.

This legislation may be seen by some Floridians as a repetition of SB 52, which made texting while you drive a second violation. However, HB7125 makes this a primary offense. The bill does not restrict the use of Bluetooth devices or other GPS systems. It is, however, very strict legislation.

The New Driving Law and its Effects

Who is this law really going to affect? It can loosely speak, benefit all drivers on roads. It does however state that "All owners and operators of a commercial motor vehicle that are engaged in intrastate commerce" is the law. This means that truckers are also subject to this bill and must not drive or use their phones as other drivers.

The bill's language also provides that penalties can be imposed on any property, including motor vehicles if the person violates its provisions and refuses payment of the penalties.

Penalties for using a cell phone while driving

Truckers who text or talk on handheld devices can face a fine of:

  • 1st violation: $500
  • 2nd violation: $1,000 + 60-day Commercial Driver's Licence. (CDL) disqualification
  • 3rd and subsequent violations : $2750 + 120 CDL disqualification

Auto Transport Companies Face Possible Penalties

The new rules are binding on companies that do not comply. They can face fines of $2750 for the first violation, and up to 11,000 for each subsequent violation. This provision aims to hold truck driver employers accountable. It is important for car-moving companies such as Move Car.

The new bill also contains provisions regarding weight dimension violations. The maximum penalty for illegal axle weight exceeding 600 pounds is $10 +.05 per kilogram. The weight of a trucker can have a significant impact on the cost of shipping a car. Truckers who are overweight or obese could be subject to harsh penalties under this law.