House Passes Ban on Commercial Cellphone Driving on Florida Highways

Posted on April 30, 2013

Florida is inching closer to the passage of a ban on texting and driving at the state level, but that’s not the only distracted driving-related measure being considered by lawmakers.  In fact, another law that was recently passed by the House targets the cellphone habits of commercial drivers.

Specifically, the law makes it illegal for commercial drivers to text or talk on their cellphones while traveling on the highway.  The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles bill was amended to include this measure, and with passage in the House assured, the stage is set for the Senate to consider the matter.  The Senate has its own version of a highway safety bill as well.

The bill comes in response to federal regulations issued early last year in a bid to keep the roads safe from distracted commercial drivers, whose vehicles are often some of the largest on the road.  Under the law, not only would the drivers of buses, big rigs, and the like be held responsible for their actions, but so too would the companies that employed the individual committing the violation.

So although the distracted driver could face a fine of up to $500, that person’s employer would be expected to pay a whopping $2,750.  That latter number is what drivers can expect to pay if they’re caught a third time, while third violations would entail an $11,000 fine for the employer.

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