Florida may soon join an ever-lengthier list of states that have passed a ban on texting while driving. If passed, a violation would be considered a secondary offense, meaning that a police officer could not pull a person over unless the texting led he or she to commit some other illegal act, such as swerving or speeding.
Only one person dissented during a vote by the House Economic Affairs Committee. Now that approval has been given to the measure, it will be heard in front of the entire House. A similar measure is on its way to the Senate. Similar types of bills failed to acquire the votes necessary for passage in previous years.
As the bill currently stands, persons cited for texting while driving could expect to pay a $30 penalty as well as attendant court costs. If caught multiple times after that initial offense, the fine would double and points would be assessed against the driver’s license. If caught in a school zone, the penalties are more severe, as they are as well in situations where texting is shown to have led to a collision.
The lone dissenter worried that the ban is an infringement on the rights of the individual. If the measure, supported by groups like AAA and AT & T, is passed, Florida would join 39 states that have passed a ban on texting and driving.