Texting while driving

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.

Barn Images/ flickr

Some lawmakers and activists are shining a light on the dangers of driving while impaired. From texting to marijuana and other drugs, it’s not only about driving drunk anymore.

Kate Payne / WFSU News

Two Florida Republican Lawmakers are working to strengthen Florida’s texting while driving laws.

Keta Browning / WFSU News

New public safety legislation is hitting the table this session with distracted drivers at the top of the list. When it comes to texting while driving, State Sen. Maria Sachs (D-Broward) says slow your roll or ante up.

A new bill would make a fatal crash due to texting while driving a felony.
Jason Weaver via Flickr

Under a new proposal, texting drivers could be hit with a felony if they’re involved in a fatal crash.  But the newest texting while driving bill is meeting some resistance in the statehouse.

It’s already illegal to text while driving in Florida, but Rep. Irv Slosberg (D-Delray Beach) thinks ratcheting up penalties will be a more effective deterrent.  But Matt Willard from the Florida association of criminal defense attorneys says current law is broad enough to cover texting.

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.

411 Teen: Distracted Driving w/ SAIL High School

Nov 7, 2013

Join host Dr. Liz Holifield for "411 Teen", a locally produced program created with teen input for a teenage audience. Guests provide insights into topics that concern adolescents.  This week, Dr. Liz speaks with students from SAIL High School on the dangers of distracted driving.

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.

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.