Bill To Ban Texting and Driving Passes First Florida House Committee
By ALLISON NIELSEN, SUNSHINE STATE NEWS // January 10, 2018
ABOVE VIDEO: Lawmakers in Tallahassee introduced a bill Wednesday to make texting and driving a primary offense in Florida, while protecting civil liberties. (ABC Action News Video)
TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA (SUNSHINE STATE NEWS) – Distracted drivers beware: a bill making texting while driving a primary offense in Florida passed its first House committee on Tuesday.
The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee pushed HB 33, sponsored by Reps. Jackie Toledo, R-Tampa, and Emily Slosberg, D-Boca Raton, through to its second of three committee stops by a unanimous vote.
Under HB 33, texting and driving would become a primary offense, which means Floridians could get pulled over if they’re found typing on their phones behind the wheel.
Texting and driving is currently a secondary offense in Florida, which means drivers have to be pulled over for breaking the law in other ways — like speeding or not wearing their seatbelts — to be whacked for texting and driving.
If the bill becomes law, Florida would become the 41st state in the country to ban texting and driving. State legislators have tried to pass the measure for years, but without much success.
In 2015, Florida saw over 45,000 distracted driving crashes, 39,000 of which resulted in injuries and 200 fatalities. The current fine for texting and driving is $30.