TXT U L8R: Bill Would Ban Texting While Driving In Florida

July 31, 2009

A push for legislation to place restrictions on drivers’ cell phone use has begun in Florida in the wake of a highly publicized report about the dangers of driving while talking or texting.

Rep. Doug Holder, R-Sarasota, filed a bill (HB 41) that would ban texting while driving. Several bills dealing with driving distractions have been filed over the past few years, but have never gained traction.

Under the legislation, “no person shall operate a moving motor vehicle while reading, manually writing or typing, or sending a message on an electronic wireless communications device.”

Holder has pushed for the legislation previously and said in a press release that it was time that Florida addressed the issue.

“This is the third year in a row that I have filed the bill in the Florida House and I will continue to do so to keep the issue in the forefront,” Holder said.

Holder’s bill comes following the recent release by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute of a study showing drivers are 23 times more likely to be involved or nearly involved in an accident if they are text messaging while driving. The study concluded that drivers are nearly three times as likely to be involved or nearly involved in an accident while dialing a phone and 1.3 times as likely while talking on the phone.

Holder’s bill would include provisions that would not penalize people who are texting to “report illegal activity; summon medical or other emergency help; or prevent injury to a person or property.”

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 14 states and the District of Columbia have passed legislation banning texting while driving, and others have banned it for drivers with learners’ permits. Six states and the District of Columbia have banned hand-held phones while driving.


6 Responses to “TXT U L8R: Bill Would Ban Texting While Driving In Florida”

  1. Nokaoi on August 3rd, 2009 6:52 am

    We need a law to keep folks from talking on the cell while driving period. The ones who think they can talk and drive ok – can’t! Men expecially have a difficult time doing 2 things at once……(I am a man and I admit this) I don’t like it but it is true. Laws should state NO CELL PHONE USE while operating a motor vehicle.

  2. attagirl on August 1st, 2009 11:53 am

    I really hope they pass this bill.

  3. Firm Believer on July 31st, 2009 10:21 pm

    AMEN on all that! If it’s so important, pull over to call/answer a call or message back!

    While they’re at it they should make a law against reading books & newspapers while driving too!

  4. Elizabeth on July 31st, 2009 2:11 pm

    You just really have to be a dummy to text and drive anyway. Too bad you can’t just ticket people for being stupid.

  5. rodney on July 31st, 2009 11:16 am

    yeah, and drinking beverages or opening snacks or looking in the glove box or talking to the passenger or dealing with unruly kids or checking out the hot car with cool rims….when your driving it should be hands on 10 and 2 with all your attention on the road. get real.

  6. Dan on July 31st, 2009 10:29 am

    Not only should texting while driving be against the law, but
    ALL cellpohone use should be banned while operating a
    vehicle on public roads in the State of Florida!

    It causes drivers to be distracted and detracts from the driver’s
    ability to safely operate his/her vehicle!

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