U.S. Capital

Bill Banning Texting While Driving Passes Second Senate Panel

Jun 14, 2018

Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) June 14, 2018 – On January 10, a bill for the primary offense of texting while driving passed its second Florida Senate panel. The Senate Committee on Transportation voted unanimously to pass the bill.

Florida law previously cited texting while driving as a secondary offense, meaning a police officer could pull over a driver for a separate offense such as running a red light first to be able to ticket for both running the light and texting while driving.

Senator Keith Perry, a Gainesville Republican, is sponsoring SB 90. This bill would make texting while driving a primary offense, so law enforcement could pull a driver over for texting without another violation attached.

Florida State University Police Chief, David Perry, eagerly supported the bill, explaining that the change to a primary offense would be critical for drivers to be discouraged from texting and driving. Organizations such as AAA, AT&T and the Florida Bicycle Association also vocalized agreement.

The second committee meeting for the bill, had the lobbyists for these organizations turn down the floor in order allow parents who lost their children in distracted driving accidents to speak up.

Many of the speakers agreed with the bill, but believe that it is still not enough to stop drivers from texting.

Robert Joyce, a Tampa attorney with Joyce & Reyes, said, “The roads need to be safe for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers alike, and texting while driving is a major cause of accidents.”

Lobbyist Lane Stephens stated that police are currently unable to recover cell phone records to see if the driver who caused an accident was texting while driving unless a witness says they were.

St. Petersburg Democratic Senator Daryl Rouson was perturbed about the bill causing more black drivers to be pulled over and targeted. After filing an amendment that would have officers take down the drivers’ race for enforcement statistics, he later withdrew it when Perry guaranteed that an effort would be made to decrease racial profiling.

The bill passed the committee with a 5-0 vote. SB 90 will now be taken to Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportations.

Learn more at http://www.joyceandreyespa.com

Joyce and Reyes Law Firm, P.A.
307 S Hyde Park Ave
Tampa, FL 33606
Call: 813.251.2007

View Larger Map

  • Florida toddler dies of meningitis as doctors fail to diagnose
    Last November, Connor Mincey was sent home sick from a childcare center in Miami, Florida. That day, his parents, Donald and Doreen Mincey, took him to a pediatrician where he was diagnosed with a cold. The pediatrician cleared the 22-month-old child to go back to daycare. Connor died on December 3. The two weeks between […]
  • Two staff members of a Florida nursing home arrested on charges of neglect
    Last December, two arrests were made concerning nursing home neglect at a Williston, Florida retirement facility, the Good Samaritan. The arrests were made based on accusations of nursing home neglect. On November 1, Betty Hurst, 72, was wandering around outside the nursing home when Sudeall found her. Earlier that night, Hurst had fallen and struck […]
  • Abuse in Florida nursing homes is apparent with hidden cameras
    Following the 13 deaths at a Hollywood Hills nursing home during Hurricane Irma, many families are concerned for the safety of their loved ones in the care of nursing facilities. As a result, more families are placing hidden cameras inside the nursing home rooms to see what is actually happening to elderly patients. Recently, disturbing […]
  • FHP trooper hit by drunk driver while investigating previous accident
    Late last year, a Florida Highway Patrol trooper, Daniel Cruz, was investigating an earlier accident scene when he was hit by a drunk driver. At around 1 a.m. on Okeechobee Road, John Bencosme, 26, of Miami, was driving his Hyundai Velastar while intoxicated. He crashed into the cars from the previous accident, which made a […]
  • In Florida medical malpractice lawsuits rarely lead to disclipline
    Medical malpractice cases in Florida have consistently been seen as an issue, but the state health officals rarely take any action against doctors. Under the law, doctors must report all malpractice lawsuits even when closed. However, little action is being taken towards getting these dangerous doctors out of practice. Florida lawmakers have called this situation […]