Florida May Toughen Law on Texting While Driving

Florida May Toughen Law on Texting While Driving

As distracted driving becomes increasingly more common, causing nearly 50,000 crashes (including 233 deaths) in Florida in 2016, state legislators have introduced a bill called SB 90 that is aimed to stamp out the dangerous habit that House Speaker Richard Corcoran describes as an “epidemic.”

Legislation introduced yesterday would tighten the reigns on texting while driving, elevating it to a primary offense which allows law-enforcement officers to pull over and ticket drivers for using their cell phones behind the wheel. Currently, texting while driving is considered a secondary offense in Florida, meaning drivers can only be charged with a texting violation if they are stopped for another (primary) offense, like failing to stop at a red light.

Under the bill, first-time offenders would face a $30 fine plus court costs for a non-moving violation, while second-time violators would be charged with a moving violation and a $60 fine plus court costs. Drivers would also receive added penalties for committing the offense in school zones and when involved in crashes.

If enacted, SB 90 would take effect October 1st, 2018.

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Go here for more information on the bill. To see the text of SB 90, visit this page.

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