On January 10, 2018, the Florida Senate panel passed a bill that would ban texting while driving. The bill classifies texting and driving as a primary offense. Florida Law previously classified texting and driving as a secondary offense. This means that an officer would have to pull the person over for another offense in order to give them a ticket for texting while driving.
For example, the person is pulled over for running a red light. The officer finds out that the person has been texting and driving. The officer can give the person a ticket for both of these offenses.
Keith Perry is the Republican senator in Gainesville. He has sponsored SB 90. This bill would classify texting and driving as a primary offense. This means that an officer can pull you over for texting and driving alone. They do not need to have any other reason to pull you over.
David Perry is the University Chief Police for Florida State University. He is a strong supporter of the bill. The Florida Bicycle Association, AT &T and AAA have also expressed their support of the bill. Parents of children who have died as the result of texting and driving spoke at the committee meeting.
While many people agree with the bill, they believe that more needs to be done to keep people safe. Robert Joyce is an attorney who practices in Tampa. She stated that the road needs to be safe for everyone including cyclists and pedestrians. Texting while driving is one of the many things that contributes to accidents.
Lane Stephens is a lobbyist. He stated that police officers are currently unable to get video footage in order to determine whether the person was texting and driving. Daryl Rouson is a Democratic senator in St. Petersburg. He has expressed his concern about the bill. He believes that this bill will cause more black drivers to be pulled over.
Daryl filed an amendment that would require the officers to take down the race of the drivers. However, he later withdrew this amendment when David stated that there would be an effort to decrease racial profiling. The bill was passed with a 5-0 vote. The bill will now be taken to the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportations.
If you have been hurt in an accident that was caused by texting while driving, then you will need the help of an experienced attorney.