For the fourth year in a row, Senators Nancy Detert (R) and Doug Holder (R) are working towards making texting and driving illegal in Florida. For 3 years now, they have submitted bills together, in an attempt to outlaw the dangerous act of distracted driving, but the bill is repeatedly killed in subcommittee votes.
The new legislation would make texting and driving a non-moving violation and would be considered a secondary offence. A secondary offence means that an officer would not be able to pull you over for texting and driving, but they can write you a ticket for the offense if they have already pulled you over for another infraction – like speeding, driving recklessly, or driving under the influence. The law, SB 416, states that any driver found guilty of this offence will be charged with a $30 fine. Repeated offences would result in greater fines and points on your license.
Florida drivers should know that this bill would not completely ban mobile phone use. Exemptions are outlined as any visual/spoken navigation system, or any mobile radios.
Florida is one out of only five states (Montana, South Dakota, Arizona and South Carolina) that does not have some sort of ban on texting while driving. Despite bipartisan support, in addition to 70% of Florida voters supporting the ban, this bill is shot down repeatedly.
Hoping to overcome the bill’s history, Detert and Holder believe that this is the year the bill will finally pass. We will be watching for the decision after the votes take place in March.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident where texting and driving was involved, you may need an attorney to help you sort through a personal injury suit. Contact the experienced attorneys at the Coye Law Firm, today, for a free consultation.