MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Florida’s new texting while driving ban will become official on Tuesday at Gov. Rick Scott’s bill signing ceremony in Miami.
Gov. Scott will sign SB 52, legislation to ban texting while driving at Alonzo and Tracy Mourning Senior High School in Miami on Monday afternoon.
The bill makes it illegal to read or type texts, IMs, or emails while driving, though it will remain OK to do it while stopped.
Governor Scott said, “As a father and a grandfather, texting while driving is something that concerns me when my loved ones are on the road. The 100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day are known as the deadliest days on the road for teenagers. We must do everything we can at the state level to keep our teenagers and everyone on our roads safe. I cannot think of a better time to officially sign this bill into law.”
Under the measure as passed, only drivers who are pulled over for something else, such as careless driving or speeding, and then are determined to have been texting while driving, could be cited. And in most cases, police and prosecutors won’t be able to seek the driver’s cell phone records to prove it. Under an amendment added to the bill by the House, records could only be sought if there were an injury or death in a crash.
When Scott signs the bill, Florida will become one of the last states to have any kind of restriction on texting while driving.
The measure has an exception for use of a GPS device, or for reporting criminal behavior. The bill also allows talk-to-text technology to be used, as long as the driver isn’t typing or reading the message.