The legislature finally passed a bill that prohibits texting while driving a vehicle. Now the governor has to sign it to become law.
It’s about time. Florida was only one of a very few states that still allowed texting while driving.
It’s only a secondary offense. You have to be pulled for some other traffic infraction before the police can cite you for texting. But it’s a start.
Recently I have followed two different drivers who were texting behind the wheel. To say they were impaired is an understatement. In both cases the cars were all over the road. Mostly they were in the opposing lane, sometimes on the shoulder. The amazing thing is they never knew I was behind them.
Talking on cell phones is bad enough. Drivers are oblivious to their surroundings. They speed up, slow down, make turns without looking, run stop lights.
Texting is worse! It puts drivers, their passengers, and everyone and everything around them in danger.
Besides being a secondary offense, texting can also be hard to prove, according to a web page report. It said a USA Today study found that Louisiana
State Police issue an average of only 18 citations a month since that state imposed a ban in July 2008 because it’s so hard to prove.
It will be in Florida, too. That’s because a House of Representatives’ amendment was attached to the bill before its passage that only allows law enforcement officers to use cell phone records in cases of vehicle accidents that cause personal injury or death.
Florida Senate bill sponsor Sen. Nancy Detert, R-Venice, told a Naples television station that while she wasn't thrilled with the politics that surrounded the House's decision to add the last-minute amendment, she had been working on the measure for years and felt now was the time to pass it.
"Aside from politics … this bill is still a good bill," she said. "It will allow parents to say don't text while driving, it's against the law. It will save lives."