Florida Drivers Could Soon Be Pulled Over For Using Their Cell Phones
A bill that requires drivers to use hands-free devices has one step left to go in the senate.
Senate bill 76 allows a law enforcement officer to pull over people who use their cell phone while driving unless they use a hands-free device or Bluetooth mode. The goal of the bill is to make texting while driving a primary offense instead of a secondary offense to reduce accidents. Spring Hill, Republican Senator Wilton Simpson is the bill’s sponsor.
“This is simply a hands-free bill. And we left in the provisions where the clerk may dismiss a citation if a person goes to school or buys a wireless device,” he says.
Last week, the Senate Rules Committee approved the bill. One mother spoke about passing the bill in remembrance of losing her 25-year-old son to someone who was texting and driving. Miami- Dade County resident, Debbie Wanninkhof, says the bill will help save lives.
“On July 1, 2018 Governor Nathan Deal signed Georgia’s hands-free law. He broke down and took a moment to gather himself before saying this legislation is Georgia’s way of saying today is the day we say no more. Georgia saw a 22% decrease in collisions in the first month. This legislation is saving at least 20 lives each month in Georgia,” she says.
The House has a similar bill but it doesn’t impose a hands-free requirement. Both proposals aim to allow officers to cite a motorist without another reason and require an officer to record the race & ethnicity of a violator when issuing a citation.