distracted driving

Police Cracking Down on Distracted Drivers in South Florida

The most common offense is texting while driving

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April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Miami-Dade Police are working with law enforcement across the state to make sure drivers are informed and follow the rules. 

The Wireless Communications While Driving law took effect in July 2019. It prohibits drivers from typing, reading or sending data while operating a car.

"We see a vast array of offenses like tweeting, posting, taking selfies while behind the wheel, chatting," said Officer Federico Lopez, who works with the Miami-Dade Police Motor Unit. 

The most common offense is texting while driving, according to officers. 

"The most common thing this leads to is a rear-end collision," said Lopez. 

In Florida, the number of fatalities involving distracted drivers has significantly gone up.

In 2021, there were more than 330 deaths and more than 56,000 crashes. 

Federal crash data shows 12.3% of distraction-affected crashes involved the use of a smartphone.

"Driving is a full time job and your eyes have to be on the road. Hands on the wheel. Eyes on the road," said Lopez.

In Miami-Dade County after court fees and other surcharges, a texting while driving fine can cost you more than $100.

School zones have additional rules and fines.

"School zone is just like a work zone. It's a hands free zone. There's no holding the phone because I'm calling. It's hands on the wheel, phone down," said Lopez. 

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