TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami) — A legislative committee in Tallahassee has voted to ban texting while driving.
The bill’s sponsor, Senator Nancy Detert said texting may be all the rage but it’s dangerous when you’re behind the wheel.
Nearly 40 other states already have some sort of restrictions on texting while driving. But in Florida, there’s nothing in law to stop you from texting while driving a vehicle, so Detert is trying to change that.
The ban isn’t for texting by itself but a ticket would be issued as a secondary offense if law enforcement sees the driver texting or reading texts while committing another offense, such as speeding or reckless driving. Under the bill, a motorist could still check texts while the car is idling.
The penalty for a first offense would be a $30 fine but no points against your license. A second violation would double the fine and three points against your license. The point total would double if the motorist was involved in a crash while texting or reading texts.
The bill has been approved in two Senate committees but Detert is worried about opposition in the House of Representatives.
Senator Joe Negron who voted against the bill says there’s no need for a separate law on texting.
He says if drivers get distracted while they text they can already be charged with careless driving.
Although Detert has been working on the texting ban for a few years now she still hasn’t convinced Senator Negron who wonders how the cops are supposed to know if you’re texting, making a call or using the GPS.