Texting, Driving Ban Bill

Republican Sen. Nancy Detert has proposed a new measure known as (SB52) to the Senate in the state capital of Tallahassee, that will ban any one operating a motor vehicle from texting or reading text, emails, or any other electronic message. It states that this will be a secondary offense which means that an officer could only ticket someone for this offense if they have stopped them for some other traffic violation. The thought is that if an officer sees someone texting and driving they can’t just go pull them over, but if an officer sees someone running a stop sign or speeding and texting they can tack on an additional fine to the other violation. However drivers would still be able to read safety related information, weather alerts, and navigational information without being penalized. The bill also states that texting and driving will be a non-moving violation that carries a $30 fine.

Detert has tried to sponsor this proposal the past two years with no avail, even though the bill has bipartisan support. Lawmakers will be back in full session during the month of March, bills can be submitted now with committee meetings on any proposed legislation starting in early December. This bill was the first to be proposed for the coming year; however the bill has not yet been referred to committee.

Florida like many other states has been urged by the National Transportation Safety Board to ban the use of texting or talking while operating a motor vehicle. The NTSB has stated that every year almost 4000 highway deaths are caused or contributed by the use of cellphones, stating that this information was taken from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data. They also stated that nearly a quarter of Americans drivers admit to occasionally using a cellphone while operating a motor vehicle.

The magnificent beautiful scenery of South Florida and its surrounding areas can be distracting on its own. The sparkling turquoise blue water of the Atlantic Ocean meandering through the Jupiter Inlet can pull even the best drivers eyes away from the road for a moment; don’t let a text message take your attention off the road. Pull over and take a minute to take in the beautiful tropical setting, and to read your text or email.

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