Anti-Texting Law in Florida Now in Effect
On October 1, 2013 a new law in Florida has taken effect banning texting for the purpose of nonvoice interpersonal communication while driving your car, truck or other motor vehicle. The texting ban statute includes all of the behavior you CAN NOT do while driving but also sets forth so many exceptions, it will make your head swivel. Before we even go there can anyone tell me:
What does nonvoice interpersonal communication even mean?
I checked Webster’s dictionary online and could not even see the definition of nonvoice. I suppose that means any communication that you do not use your voice? I think the Florida Legislators just made up their own word! Who and I thought most of those guys and gals were lawyers.
Anyway back to the law…. The way I read it you can not:
TEXT, IM or EMAIL.
Ok good that is clear but it says you cannot do the foregoing when you are OPERATING a vehicle.
WHAT DOES OPERATING MEAN?
Can you text when you are stopped at a light, parked on the side of the road, at a stop sign? Sounds like you can. Does that even make sense? The legislature wants to ban texting but still allows it at stop lights? Why because that is safe? You telling me that if you are looking at your phone while stopped at a light you do not stand a chance to get rear ended in that extra second you are looking at your phone when the light turns green?
WHAT IF I AM TRYING TO STOP A CRIME? CAN I TEXT HERE?
Yes you can if you are reporting a crime to the police. You can also text if your are cop or firefighter or emergency personnel on duty. You can receive messages related to your GPS, radio broadcasts and traffic alerts and you can get data if used primarily by your car. What does that last one even mean?
CAN I USE SIRI TO TEXT? WHAT IF I RECORD MY TEXT AND DO NOT MANUALLY ENTER THEM?
It sounds like you can record a text but not read any that come back in response. Wow now that makes sense. Lets give an incentive to drivers to record a text but not read the one coming back? What do you think most people will do?
WILL THEY PROVE IT BY USING MY CELL PHONE RECORDS?
Isn’t that an invasion of my privacy? If someone dies or is injured, police now have the authority to get your cell phone records to prove you texted. Guess what your communications become public! Hope you have nothing to hide. I mean no one ever texts stupid stuff do they?
Bottom line is that police will NOT be able to pull you over for texting unless you do something else wrong like speed or break some other traffic law. The State will make more money and you will pay more in traffic fines. You will not get points on your first violation but could upon multiple tickets for texting.