Christopher Webber, a Minnesota man, was recently sentenced to one year in prison as part of his plea bargain related to the death of 33-year-old Andrea Boeve of Steen, Minnesota. In June 2014, Ms. Boeve was on a bicycle ride, towing her two children, when Mr. Webber struck them.
When questioned by police, Mr. Webber said that he was “mobile banking” on his cellular telephone at the time of the accident.
The Dolman Law Group and I have written about the dangers of distracted driving on numerous occasions in the past. The issue I often find myself confronted with, however, is the many forms in which distracted driving can come. Recently, Florida Law was changed to make illegal the act of reading text messages while operating a motor vehicle. However, that does not even begin to address the depth and broad spectrum of possible problems created by our cellular phones.
Cellular Phones and All They Do
Cell phones are capable of a spectrum of assorted tasks now. Fifteen years ago, my cell phone could make calls, play snake, and (because I had an enterprising friend who showed me how) send text messages. While text messaging had not yet become widely accepted, it still existed. Today, our phones put us but a fingertip away from our work and personal email accounts (for good and for bad), from our social media accounts (things that also did not exist a decade and a half ago), and from the never-ending fountain of knowledge contained by the internet. Our phones are capable of streaming high-definition video from YouTube and streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, as well as various cable providers that provide such a service. As with Mr. Webber, many perform most of their online banking on their mobile devices.
Today our phones aren't just a means by which to contact other people, but instead a conduit of constant information and, even more constant, distraction. Florida law has been amended in order to prohibit people from using their cell phones during the operation of a motor vehicle because the statistics on distracted driving are harrowing. The new law prohibits all of the above-referenced activities, but many are so concentrated on the ban on texting that they might have failed to understand, that all of those activities put a driver in violation of the statute. Florida drivers must learn that they cannot Tweet, check their Facebook, read and send Email, play Candy Crush, Clash of Clans, Game of War (or any other currently popular game that is for mobile devices), take “Selfies,” check their bank accounts, or watch the newest Vines or funny YouTube video while operating a motor vehicle.
Contact the Dolman Law Group
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756727-451-6900