Florida Next for Cell Phone Regulations?

September 22nd, 2011
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Woman texting while driving

Distracted drivers cause more accidents than any other one single incident on the roadways. Of those distracted drivers, many report texting or cell phone use as their source of distraction. In an effort to save lives and keep the roadways safer many states have put in place texting while driving regulations and laws.

34 states across the country have enacted the texting with driving laws; of those states 31 have made it a primary offense. As primary offense police officers can pull over and cite a driver on their cell phone use alone rather than having to pull over the driver for another driving violation such as speeding.

Out of those 34 states, Florida is not included. Florida has remained one of the states that have failed to approve a cell phone use or texting law. The Florida governing bodies have tried having over 32-different senate or house bills pass on the favor of creating restrictions against texting or talking while driving, all which have failed to pass.

In May of 2011 a bill was proposed to ban Florida motorist from texting while driving, but again the law was rejected.  The Governors Highway Safety Association and the AAA Auto Club South were not in support of such law and said it was not strong enough. The bill was proposed to be a secondary offense with a first time ticket price of $30 dollars and a second violation being $60.

With the ban as a secondary offense, it would have limited the police officers ability to take action when drivers were texting while driving. The officials would have to pull the driver over for another moving violation and than issue a ticket for the cell phone use.

With the state officials failing to provide a restriction on texting while driving, cities in Florida have begun to take action. The city of Parkland of Broward County has enacted a ban on texting while driving, with violators paying a possible $100 fine.

So, will there be a state approved texting while driving law in the near future? State representative, officials and public figures are speaking out against Florida’s delay in enacting a law against texting while driving.  With pilling up reports of drivers getting involved in fatal car accidents due to texting and driving, political figures are going to continue to push the bill.

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