texting ban

New Bill Would Require Florida Driver’s To Go ‘Hands-Free’

Oct 1, 2019
Person texting while driving vehicle.
Airman Sadie Colbert / U.S. Air Force

An author of a new law that toughened the state’s texting-while-driving ban wants to require motorists to go fully “hands-free” if they are using wireless phones. 

Beginning in July, Florida police can pull over drivers they suspect of texting while driving. That’s according to a bill signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis Friday.

Texting While Driving Bill Goes To DeSantis

May 17, 2019

A bill that would toughen the state’s texting-while-driving law was formally sent Thursday to Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has voiced support for the proposal.

The bill (HB 107), a compromise passed by the House and Senate in late April, would make texting while driving a “primary” traffic offense on July 1.

However, the change would be phased in, according to the bill, with warnings issued starting Oct. 1 and tickets beginning Jan. 1.

For the last two years, Key Biscayne resident Debbie Wanninkhof has advocated for stricter texting while driving laws. A new law in the state of Florida will do just that.

The House bill will likely go into effect July 1 and will make texting while driving a primary offense. Under current law it is only a secondary offense, and police officers are not allowed to pull over drivers for texting while driving.

A bill that will increase the penalty for texting and driving has passed the legislature and is heading to Governor Ron DeSantis for his signature.

Under Florida law it’s currently a secondary offense to text and drive.

But the new bill would make it a primary offense starting July 1.

That’s when Orange County Sheriff Chief John Mina says officers will be able to pull over offenders and write them citations for non-moving violations.

These types of violations result in fines and court fines-beginning at around $30.

House Backs Tougher Texting, Driving Ban

Apr 24, 2019
Man in green van texts while he drives over a bridge.
Rcsprinter123 / Wikimedia Commons

Law-enforcement officers could pull over motorists they see texting and driving, under a measure approved Tuesday by the House despite concerns the change could increase racial profiling. 

Man in green van texts while he drives over a bridge.
Rcsprinter123 / Wikimedia Commons

A proposal that would allow law-enforcement officers to pull over motorists for using cell phones while driving will be back before lawmakers in 2019. 

Lawmakers in the Florida Senate passed a handful of health related bills Tuesday morning, including: 

The Florida Senate unanimously passed a $74.3-billion budget that includes raises for state employees and more money for schools and the Everglades; it also leaves the door open to accept federal funds that would expand coverage to the uninsured, the Times/Herald Bureau reports.

Lawmakers think this could be the year they actually pass a ban on texting-while-driving, the Lakeland Ledger reports.

Yesterday’s two-hour hearing is more than lawmakers have given similar proposals in previous sessions, the Ledger reports.