The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

Fla. Bill Would Strengthen Driver Texting Ban

December 08, 2017

Photo by Intel Free Press via Wikimedia Commons/Flickr.
Photo by Intel Free Press via Wikimedia Commons/Flickr.

A newly introduced bill in the Florida House seeks to upgrade the state’s texting-while-driving ban from a secondary offense to a primary one.

If a law enforcement officer holds reasonable suspicion that a driver is texting while driving, that driver could be pulled over and issued a citation. Currently, another traffic offense — one that’s designated as primary — must be observed to warrant such a pullover. Only then can a driver be cited for texting while driving.

The state legislation would also require a warrant for an officer to demand the driver’s cell phone. Officers must inform drivers that they can decline to hand over their cell phone for a search if no warrant has been issued.

The texting-while-driving ban doesn’t apply when the vehicle isn’t moving. Drivers are still permitted to text while stopped and waiting at a red light, for example.

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