A new law banning texting while driving went into effect this week. Now, a Florida lawmaker is pushing to give the rule more teeth.
Under the new law, texting while driving is what’s called a secondary offense. That means a police officer can’t pull a person over just for texting while driving – they have to be breaking another rule too. Delray Beach Democratic State Senator Maria Sachs says the next logical step is to make the rule a primary offense, meaning a person could get pulled over solely for texting behind the wheel. Sachs says she thinks the move will make a habit out of refraining from texting in the car, much like wearing a seatbelt has become.
“People don’t even think twice when they get in the car, they click it. They put their seatbelt on. People don’t do it because they’re afraid to get a penalty. The penalty is 30 bucks. But it’s just part of their second nature.”
Sachs says moving the state’s seatbelt law from a secondary to primary offense took more than a decade. But she says when it comes to texting, lawmakers can’t wait that long. She says for rules dealing with technology, legislation needs to move fast to keep up.