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.