Is Subpoenaing Cell Phone Records Necessary?
Driving and Cell Phone Use Laws in Florida
Drivers, law-makers, and anyone with common sense has known that driving while talking or texting on the phone is dangerous. Anything that requires that a driver looks away from the road, or take their hands off the wheel to dial or text increases the chances of crashing. Furthermore, even talking on a phone hands free is distracting, as it places the driver’s mind somewhere else—in the conversation instead of driving. According to studies, drivers talking on hands free devices “see but fail to see up to 50 percent of the information in their driving environment,” according to the NSC. This includes stop signs, stop lights, speed limits, cyclists, pedestrians, other vehicles, off ramps, bends in the road, construction zones, etc.
Texting while driving has been illegal in Florida since 2013, but has rarely been enforced. This is because texting while driving was not a primary offense, meaning that law enforcement could not pull over a texting driver unless they were doing something else that also violated traffic law as a primary offense, such as speeding. Now, texting while driving is a primary offense and police can ticket drivers for texting alone. Moreover, another law bans all handheld cell phone use in active work zones and school zones, according to the Sun Sentinel.
What is Included in the Texting Ban?
Email, texting, posting on facebook, dialing phone numbers, and any other manual typing of multiple numbers, letters, symbols, or other characters is prohibited when using a wireless communication device. Additionally, reading on such a device is also banned. However, the law does allow for drivers stopped at stop lights to text. If the driver is still texting while their vehicle comes to a stop or is finishing up a text as they start moving, they have violated the law.
A subpoena is a court order of evidence. In the case of cell phone records, a court can order a cell phone service provider to hand over the cell phone records for the day of the crash, which can help prove that the driver was illegally texting while driving. However, other evidence such as eyewitnesses and skid marks on the road tend to be much better evidence than cell phone records. Phone records are also very difficult to acquire, so issuing a subpoena is usually not a priority unless it is necessary to prove the other driver’s negligence.
Call an Ocala Attorney Today
More and more traffic collisions are caused by drivers allowing themselves to be distracted by their cell phones. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), cell phones are involved in causing 27 percent of all crashes. If you were hit by a distracted driver who admitted they were on the phone, or who you believe was on the phone when they caused the crash, you need an attorney to help prove your claim. Sometimes, this requires issuing a subpoena of their cell phone records. However, more often than not, a subpoena is unnecessary. To talk to the experienced Ocala cellphone car accident attorneys at the Glover Law Firm, call 352-484-0775 to schedule a free consultation today.