No Texting And Driving Bill Passes Transportation Committee

December 8, 2011

A bill aimed at curbing the temptation to text while on the road in Florida was approved by the Senate Transportation Committee Wednesday by a 10-0 vote.

The measure prohibits driving “while manually typing or entering multiple letters, numbers, symbols, or other text in a wireless communication device”. The bill also prohibits drivers from reading messages while driving.

The bill makes an exception to emergency responders and those with hands-free devices.

First time offenders get fined $30, court costs and six points on their driving record.  The bill is sponsored by Sen. Nancy Detert, R-Venice.

By The News Service of Florida


17 Responses to “No Texting And Driving Bill Passes Transportation Committee”

  1. Molino-Anon on December 9th, 2011 11:57 pm

    “why aren’t EMS and Cops not held to this?” are you guys that ignorant? Or just upset because you’re the texting drivers mentioned in the article?

    EMS and Cops need it for their computers, and gear they use to find addresses and/or look up suspects, run tags, etc. Most cops have taken defensive driving courses, and most EMS with lights on have the right-of-way. THIS is why it does not apply to them.

    I wouldn’t have it any other way, I’d rather X number of EMS drivers and cops be on the road texting than XXXX number of teens and self-centered people using their phones texting with no regard to other drivers while on the road.

    I think cell phones should be banned period while driving, turned off and in a glove box. If the call you are waiting for is that important get where you need to go and pull over to use your cell.

  2. David Huie Green on December 9th, 2011 12:04 pm

    “while manually typing or entering multiple letters, numbers, symbols, or other text in a wireless communication device”.

    Note: there ARE voice to text devices which can convert your spoken words to text and transmit them. Further, there ARE text to voice devices which can convert incoming text to voice.

    This law would not make those illegal — nor should it. It wouldn’t be different from talking to someone in the car with you.

    The problem is that if you are manually typing the text to send or reading the message you received, you’re distracted from safe driving. Distracted drivers kill people. Killing people is usually bad.

    If you need to communicate by typing and reading, please pull off the road where you might accidentally kill me or someone you or I love.

    David for intentionally self-driving cars
    not just those going down the road neglected

  3. bamagirl63 on December 8th, 2011 2:28 pm

    Whatever did we do before cell phones? What makes the phone call so important that you can’t wait until you get to where your going to make the call?
    Is that call so important that you could cause someone to lose their life? maybe even yours!

  4. Bob hudson on December 8th, 2011 11:28 am

    No texting,No exceptions, for any one. Driving is driving. Better pray that cell phone can pick up a signal, and you can use a hands free device for those who are emergency responders .

  5. joe on December 8th, 2011 10:40 am


    While we appreciate your efforts on the law, there is a common sense factor which seems to have gone unnoticed. What makes an emergency responded any less accountable, or special than the average citizen?
    These are the kinds of actions which make the public, and citizens across the county not trust in the elected officials. They see that when the elected officials pass laws, or sponsor bills they do not have a just and fair equality about them, and they seem to always side in a favor that treats or words a normal citizen as less than equal.

    What I am speaking of, is the “emergency responder” exception in your bill. I read that, and instantly knew I was not equal. What makes them so much more special or important than any other person out there driving?
    You see, if the rule applies to all drivers, then it should apply to them as well because they are DRIVING also.

    It makes no sense what so ever to not include them, because based on the research done with texting and driving, it has shown it to be a distraction to anyone driving, including an emergency responder. If your average citizen driver is too distracted to use the phone for texting while operating a motor vehicle, emergency responders are at an even higher risk because they have to be sharp, and aware at all times.

    If it distracts people while driving, it distracts people – equally. There should not be a provision protecting them, from the rest of the populous. It’s just not common sense, because they are driving too, just like the rest of us.

    It is selective, exclusive, and demeaning to allow a category of people to do something a law is denouncing on the rest of the population of Florida.

    What it says, is that “emergency responders” are excluded from this law, because the information they need to send or receive is so much more important, and they are so much more important than the rest of us citizens – they get a free pass.
    Our information is just as important, and we have a right to send message as well.

    If it does not apply to ALL DRIVERS, then it is discriminatory, and a violation of civil liberties to apply a law unilaterally.

  6. Bob hudson on December 8th, 2011 10:31 am

    What part of driving and typing do people not think is dangerous? I agree 250 dollar fine. Look,pull off the road, are you really in that big a hurry? I have never thought driving and talking on a phone was a good idea. Let it ring and call them back later. I think that the driver that causes a wreak while texting should be sued for every thing they have. It is a shame that we have to have a law to stop people from doing something so stupid. Look , if someone told you they were going drive a 3500 pound vehicle down the road at 55mph, and then they were going to type on a device that is the size of a post card( if that big), while they are driving this 3500 pound vehicle, would you ride with them?

  7. Youth Texting on December 8th, 2011 9:59 am

    You noticed the fine if only $30, plus 6 points on your driving record.

    $30 can be a lot for most teens. 6 points is a lot for anyone with a license.

    I believe the statistics shown TEENS are at higher risk of texting while drivng than adults. Adults should know better.

    TEXTING while drivng is very dangerous!!! As are ALL THOSE OTHER DISTRACTIONS!!! It’s just a shame that the government had to step in with a law that should be something people should practice common sense with.

    As far as knowing if someone is texting or not??? Don’t you need to look down to text? That could be all the officer needs to observe now. What is the distraction being caused by? A reason to pull you over. If you have a device there is suspision and probable cause. How will you prove you WEREN’T texting when he pulls you over and your device is operating or you recently had a message sent? There are times on the message too.

  8. Lol on December 8th, 2011 9:51 am

    So, if I have a wireless device in my ear, I can text all I want… Ok.

  9. 429SCJ on December 8th, 2011 7:51 am

    I always give my turn signal and carefully ease to the side of the road, when talking on the phone or changing CDs ect. Slow down and be careful, you have the rest of your life to text. I wonder why they are unable to communicate verbally. I am of the opinion that a $250.00 fine on the first offense, would help these jokers find their voice, and get their priorities in order. I have never experienced that need or urge to text. I hope I never do.

  10. Fairlane63 on December 8th, 2011 7:46 am

    Why does this bill exclude emergency responders? Texting and driving is either dangerous or it isn’t. Is there an emergency responder exemption for DUI?

  11. jane on December 8th, 2011 7:08 am

    Maybe if people paid attention to their driving there would be less accidents. Good idea!

  12. thankful on December 8th, 2011 6:43 am

    Just glad someone’s trying to do something about reakless drivers.. To many gadgets out there. People need to be so carful when driving. I have seen so many accidents and very close accidents just from people talking on there phone’s and driving. This is a great idea but how does a cop know your texting or playing with something else in the car, unless they stop you and they take your phone? I also agree how is it that the law is excluded in this. There as much of a risk on the roads as anyone else. Everyone needs to always be aware of whats going on around them when driving..

  13. tallyho on December 8th, 2011 6:40 am

    If you want to know how police know when you are texting, just watch the cars ahead of ya, car slows, back and forth in lane and off the road they go. There has to be something done. Like they say, drink to much and your bullet proof and test and drive it will never happen to me.

  14. c.w. on December 8th, 2011 5:27 am

    How about cops and their computors? What is fair for the public is fair for the cops.

  15. uh?? on December 8th, 2011 2:38 am

    Then they need 2 pass a bill for people to not use their cell while driving cause i have seen way to many people talking on their cell and their driving is impaired alot.

  16. thought of the day? on December 8th, 2011 12:16 am

    thats a really great law but i’ve been wondering how are the officials gonna “know” if someone is texting while driving?

  17. stacey on December 8th, 2011 12:09 am

    Would this include making calls too?