By Team

TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – Motorists would have to put down their cellphones when moving over for law enforcement and other vehicles stopped on the side of the road, under a measure filed Friday to expand Florida’s “Move Over” law and the state’s ban on texting while driving.

The proposal (HB 127) by Rep. Emily Slosberg, D-Boca Raton, would prohibit the use of handheld wireless devices while operating a motor vehicle where first responders are actively working.

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“The side of the road is one of the most dangerous places for first responders because of distracted drivers,” Slosberg said in a release.

“I believe we can provide another level of protection for the men and women who put their lives on the line for us every day.”

Slosberg, who just over 25 years ago was seriously injured as a passenger in a crash that killed her twin sister, has focused heavily on traffic-safety issues since her election to the Florida House in 2016.

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State lawmakers in 2019 made texting while driving a “primary” offense, which allows law enforcement officers to pull over motorists for texting while behind the wheel.

The change also required motorists to go hands-free on wireless devices in school and work zones.

The Move Over law requires motorists to move into a lane — when possible and can be done safely — or to slow to a speed 20 mph less than the posted speed limit when approaching stopped law enforcement, emergency, sanitation, utility service vehicles and tow trucks.

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