Texting while driving is a dangerous activity that states and local governments are increasingly passing laws to combat. The reasons are sobering. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates nearly half a million motorists use cell phones while on the road every day. Further, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports hundreds of thousands of people are injured as a result of distracted driving every year, of which texting is a major component.
What should you do if you are pulled over for texting? First, consider the consequences. Did you know, fines can cost hundreds of dollars? Tickets add points to your driving record and your insurance rates may likely increase. Also, If texting causes an accident, police could cite you for reckless driving.
As soon as you see those unmistakable flashing lights, pull over quickly and safely. This is not an admission of guilt. Rather, it demonstrates a desire to cooperate and put your best foot forward when dealing with a police officer. Promptly pulling over may also be able to provide a better understanding of the officer’s point of view should you choose to contest the ticket at a later date.
Avoid any language that could aggravate the situation and do not say anything more than is absolutely necessary. Let the police officer do the talking as much as possible and do not argue. Law enforcement officers perform a tremendous service by patrolling roadways for public safety, but this does not make them infallible. They may ask questions that, if answered, could reflect poorly on a driver regardless of guilt. Certain questions may even be intended to establish an admission of wrongdoing.
Think about your actions. Motorists also have a right to remain silent, though you may have to invoke that right. Further, you are typically not required to hand over your phone or allow an officer to search your vehicle. Keep in mind that texting violations can be hard to prove, and distracted driving cell phone laws may have exceptions. For instance, hands-free Bluetooth operations are often permissible, and GPS applications are usually allowed if a cell phone is affixed to the dashboard or windshield.
Knowing your rights is critical. Do not wait to contact an experienced attorney for more guidance. If you have been ticketed for texting do not wait to schedule a free case evaluation with a member of our local, legal defense team who understands the laws in this area. We look forward to being able to help you.