Florida lawmakers seek to pass anti-texting law

By now, virtually everyone is aware of the dangers associated with distracted driving. The act of driving while distracted often results in car accidents, some of which resulting fatalities. Despite this, many drivers still partake in one of the biggest examples of this–texting while driving.

After previous unsuccessful attempts, the Florida legislature is again trying to pass a law on the matter. Thus far, 35 states have done so, in addition to the District of Columbia. The major reason behind the failure of bills in the past is that lawmakers feel that it is a way that the government would be intruding in the lives of people.

This current attempt is still in process. House Bill 299 has, as of yet, not been put to vote. The Senate’s version, SB 416, has been voted in three committees. Thus far, only two votes have been cast against it. Currently, a final vote on the bill has not been scheduled.

If successful, the act of texting while driving would alone, not be a reason for a police officer to pull a driver over. Known as a secondary enforcement, a driver could only be cited for the action if he or she had already been stopped by police for a different violation. Straightforward violations would lead to fines.

The penalty would be higher if the act of texting while driving was the cause of a car accident. In these situations, the driver would receive six points on his or her license. The accumulation of points could lead to license suspension as well as high rated of insurance.

Source: Claims Journal, “Texting While Driving Ban Up Again in Florida Legislature,” James L. Rosica, Feb. 13, 2012