By Sharon Aron Baron
Governor Rick Scott today signed a bill in Miami on Tuesday, banning the use of wireless communications devices while driving. While not perfect, it’s a start and sends a message that the State of Florida will not tolerate this type of distraction behind the wheel any longer.
Unfortunately, the bill makes texting while driving a secondary offense. That means a driver cannot be pulled over just for texting and driving, but has to be pulled over for speeding first. Well, we all know from experience that most people that are usually in the slow lanes on the expressway are the ones that are demonstrating this dangerous behavior.
Governor Scott said, “As a father and a grandfather, texting while driving is something that concerns me when my loved ones are on the road. The 100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day are known as the deadliest days on the road for teenagers. We must do everything we can at the state level to keep our teenagers and everyone on our roads safe. I cannot think of a better time to officially sign this bill into law.”
The bill signed prohibits a person from manually typing or entering multiple letters, numbers, symbols or other characters into a wireless communications device. This includes text messaging, emailing and instant messaging through smart phones.
Under the measure, authorities are allowed to pull cell phone records if a driver is caught texting in a crash that results in injury or death. A first citation is $30, a second is $60 and three points towards the driver’s record.