Gov. Scott Signs Bill to Ban Texting While Driving

By  //  May 28, 2013

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More teenagers are now 'dying while texting'

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BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA — Florida has joined 45 states which have at least a partial ban on texting while driving. Governor Rick Scott signed Senate Bill 52. With Scott’s signature, the bill will go into effect October 1, 2013.

The threat of texting behind the wheel is tragically real. Over 5,800 people lost their lives last year due to texting and driving. Sadly younger drivers are those most likely to text and drive. (Shutterstock image)

The bill prohibits operation of a motor vehicle while using a wireless communications device for “Certain purposes; defining the term “wireless communications device”; specifying information that is admissible as evidence of a violation; providing for enforcement as a secondary action; providing for points to be assessed against a driver license for the unlawful use of a wireless communications device within a school safety zone or resulting in a crash, etc.”

Florida Governor Rick Scott signed Florida State Senate Bill 52, which makes texting while driving a secondary moving violation in the state of Florida. Under the new law, texting while driving can only be applied as a secondary offense: Florida’s police officers aren’t allowed to pull over drivers they see texting. Drivers may receive an additional penalty if they are texting, sending instant messages, or emailing while driving, though it will remain OK to do it while stopped.

FINES FOR TEXTING WHILE DRIVING

First offense rates a fine of just $30, and a second offense (within 5 years) rates a fine of just $60. The law permits allowing use of mobile devices for GPS and navigation, for reporting crimes, and when using voice-to-text services.

TEXTING AND DRIVING STATISTICS
A study from AT&T, SKDKnickerbocker and Beck Research published earlier this year revealed several notable statistics, including

  • More business professionals than teenagers are now texting while driving.
  • 98% of those surveyed said they understand how dangerous texting while driving is, but they admitted to doing it anyway.
  • Half of commuters send text messages or emails when behind the wheel, compared to 43% of teenagers.

BELOW VIDEO: CBS News Anchor Scott Pelley reports on a study regarding the dangers of texting. Research revealed that texting while driving can more than double your reaction time, making it comparable to driving while drunk. (Video courtesy of CBS News)

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