Florida Finally Follows Suit With Texting and Driving Legislation
While Florida is a fairly Liberal state in most areas, as of April 2013, Florida was one of the last five states in the country to have any effective legislature against texting while driving. Sen. Nancy Detert, Republican representative from Venice, FL has been trying to have this bill on texting from mobile devices while driving added to the books for over five years. The Senate unanimously voted Tuesday, April 16 for a bill that would partially ban texting while driving in Florida.
The bill SB 52 will be introduced into the House this year, but with 45 other states already enforcing a texting ban, no one anticipates a problem. The ban would make texting a secondary offense, which means that the driver of the vehicle would have to be pulled over for another violation first. These violations could be distracted driving, reckless driving, swerving, running a red light or any one of a number of traffic violations. If the driver was found to be texting when pulled over, there would be a $30 fine plus court costs for the texting.
ATT has recently released interesting information from a study they ran on drivers who text while driving. Most of those in authority have believed that teens were the usual, habitual offenders, but ATT research clearly shows that over 50 percent of adults are texting on a regular basis, knowing it is wrong. They are not pulling over or simply ceasing the activity, and adults freely admit this in the research. The upcoming ban in Florida would still permit typing while waiting at a red light and the use of voice-activated texting.
California has the strictest laws on texting and mobile devices in the country. Texting while driving by anybody in California, adult or teen, is totally outlawed. A driver 18 years old or older may use hands-free mobile devices, but drivers under 18 are not permitted to use any mobile devices. Bus operators are also prohibited from using any type of mobile phone while driving. Senator Detert spoke in support of the new bill in Florida saying that our country loses an average of 11 teens a day specifically to texting while driving.