texting ban

Florida Channel

A bill making texting while driving a primary offense cleared its first Senate committee hearing Tuesday. Tallahassee resident Demetrius Branca supports the bill. In 2014, Branca lost his son Anthony to a person distracted by texting while driving.

Rep. Emily Slosberg's twitter/Florida Senate

There’s a bipartisan effort underway relating to driving legislation. They include enhancing texting while driving penalties and making sure Florida public school students stay on campus for lunch.

cell phone in car
IntelFree Press

A bill imposing mandatory criminal penalties for killing someone while driving distractedly is headed to the House floor after it passed its final committee stop today. Although killing someone while driving is already a crime, the bill’s sponsor says the measure would make it easier for state attorneys to prosecute people.

MGN Online

According to the Washington, D.C.-based Transportation Research Board, 100 children are killed each year walking to and from school, and about 25,000 are injured.

"That’s a lot of kids. You know one of my jobs as a lawmaker is to protect those who can’t protect themselves, like our children, and that’s what this bill does,” said Boca Raton Democratic Representative Irv Slosberg.

A Florida House bill would double the penalty for texting while driving through school zones. One of the bill’s sponsors says, although he’d like to enact a texting ban with more teeth, a small change to last year’s texting ban has a better chance of passing the Legislature.

The state’s texting ban is too weak, according to Rep. Richard Stark (D-Weston), because it allows ticketing only after drivers are pulled over for something else. But he says because that watered-down ban barely passed the Legislature, he doesn’t foresee a full-on ban passing just months later.

Florida Gov. Signs Texting-While-Driving Ban Into Law

May 28, 2013

It will soon be illegal to send text messages while driving in Florida. Gov. Rick Scott signed a texting-while-driving ban into law on Tuesday.

Texting will be a ticketable offense only if police catch people doing it while they’re pulled over for something else, like speeding. And Nancy Rasmussen, with the Florida Highway Patrol, said, police can’t look at phones without a search warrant, so it might be hard to tell whether someone’s texting or doing something like using a GPS.

With just days left to take action on a texting ban bill, Governor Rick Scott is not giving any indication as to whether he will sign the measure into law.

"We're still reviewing that bill, and we'll see. I'm like every other parent and grandparent who worry about texting while driving and so, I'm reviewing that bill," said Scott following a press conference Tuesday.

In addition to vetoing or signing the bill, Scott can also just let the bill become law without his signature.

One of the first bills the Senate considered during its Tuesday morning session would outlaw texting while driving.  Senator Nancy Detert, (R-Venice) is sponsoring the bill for the fourth year in a row.

“So for the fourth year in a row I’m standing here to offer you the opportunity to make texting while driving against the law in the state of Florida. Last year when I stood here we were one of only six states that had nothing on the books. This year we’re one of only five states. So, I hope this year is our year and I think it is," Detert said.

Texting-While-Driving Ban Headed For Fla. House Vote

Apr 3, 2013
Jessica Palombo / WFSU-FM

A bill that would ban texting while driving is heading to the House floor after passing its final committee on Wednesday. The bill and its Senate companion have bipartisan sponsorship.

Ninety-five percent of Floridians support the ban on texting while driving. That’s according to a poll from the University of Florida.

A couple of state lawmakers are trying to up the penalties for people who cause death from texting while driving. The newly filed bill follows a similar measure moving through the Florida Legislature calling for a ban on texting while driving in the state.

Jessica Palombo / WFSU-FM

The state of Florida is launching a new billboard and website campaign to try and educate young people about the dangers of distracted and drunk driving. The “Be Ready for the Road Ahead” campaign is targeting drivers who are most likely to die in car crashes.

 In the wake of a new report highlighting an increase in fatalities among teen drivers, Governor Rick Scott has declared this   Florida Road Safety Week. James Call reports, Scott joined law enforcement officials and paramedics on the steps of the Capitol to call attention to the hazards of impaired and distracted driving.

WFSU

Forty-one states have a full or partial ban on texting while driving.  Florida is one of just eight states that have no such laws on the books.  Tom Flanigan reports it appears that situation is unlikely to change as a result of the 2012 lawmaking session….

Steve Augello of Spring Hill has been bringing his tragic story to Tallahassee for years: