ORLANDO, Fla.—The State of Florida is about to introduce new laws in 2019.
The proposal (HB 45) would bar drivers from using hand-held wireless phones to talk, though it would allow the use of "hands-free" devices. That means no texting AND NO HOLDING YOUR PHONE. But bluetooth would be ok.
The House during the 2018 legislative session approved a proposal that would have made texting while driving a “primary” offense, allowing police to pull over motorists for tapping away on phones. But the measure failed to advance in the Senate amid concerns about issues such as minority drivers facing increased racial profiling. Texting while driving in Florida is currently prohibited, but it is enforced as a “secondary” offense. That means motorists can only be cited if they are stopped for other infractions, such as running a stop sign or speeding.
Sen. Wilton Simpson, R-Trilby, has filed a measure (SB 76) called the “Florida Ban on Wireless Communications Devices While Driving Law,” which would prohibit texting, reading data or talking on wireless handheld devices while behind the wheel, and is filed for consideration during the 2019 session. It would impose a broader ban on use of cell phones by drivers and allow enforcement as a primary offense.
Drivers would still be able to communicate hands-free on wireless devices, and motorists would be allowed to use handheld devices for safety-related information or for navigation.
Talking on Your Cell Phone Reduces Your Reaction Time by 40%. Talking on a cell phone is not illegal in Florida but it does distract you from driving and is a cause of thousands of car accidents a year in Florida. In 2017 there were over 3,700 accidents attributed to drivers distracted by cell phone conversations.
As we all know, texting while driving is very dangerous. Currently, motorists who violate this law more than once within a five-year period will be punished for committing a moving violation. For instance, texting and driving penalties may include:
A citation and the need to appear before an official.
120 hours of community service if the infraction results in the death of another individual.
Civil penalty fees.
The need to enroll in a driver improvement school.
If the crash results in the death of another individual, then the driver’s cell phone provider will also need to release his or her cell phone records, as these documents will be used as evidence in court.
Regarding your license points:
Texting While Driving - 3 points
2 points are added to primary offense (e.g.speeding) if texting occurred in a school zone
6 points are added if the texting offense resulted in a crash
If Commercial Driver License holders text while driving a commercial vehicle, then they may need to pay a fine of up to $2,750 and they may lose their CDL credentials for a period of 60 or 120 days.
According to the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) the following guide must be kept in mind at all times:
5 Seconds = 290 Feet
At 40 MPH you are traveling more than 58 feet per second. So if you look at a text for just 5 seconds, your vehicle has traveled more than 290 feet. Imagine what can happen in that 5 seconds and 290 feet. Cars may have stopped, a child may have walked into the road, and when you look up it is too late to stop.
So, in conclusion and simply put — please DO NOT TEXT & DRIVE.
ENJOY LIFE RESPONSIBLY!