Governor of Florida Signs Texting and Driving Bill
FLORIDA – According to an online news report at miamiherald.com, the governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, signed a bill on Friday, May 17, 2019 making it illegal to text while driving, which is one of the most common causes of accidents in the State of Florida.*
The governor of Florida recently signed a bill, which becomes effective July 1, 2019, where police can stop and cite drivers who are texting while driving. Drivers may still text when their vehicle is stopped.
While at a high school in Sarasota, Governor DeSantis noted that texting is “one of the worst of all driving distractions,” which causes thousands of accidents and hundreds of deaths each year.
Texting when behind the wheel has been outlawed in Florida for several years however, police currently cannot stop someone for. As a result, the law has been barely enforced. In fact, less than 1,700 tickets were issued for texting while driving in Florida last year.
Lawmakers as well as Governor DeSantis have stated that they are in the hopes that this law will cause changes to the driving culture in Florida, which according to the online report, is a state “rich in statistics and anecdotes detailing the dangerous habits of its drivers.”
One of the sponsors of the bill has noted that he hopes that putting down the phone will be as second nature as putting on a seat belt when someone gets into a car. “Back then we thought, ‘Why are we having to wear seat belts? Why is the government intruding in our lives?’ ” said the sponsor. “And as we know today, no one would get in the vehicle without putting their children and themselves in a seat belt. It’s second nature.”
Notwithstanding the ban on texting while driving, vehicle operators can still use their phones for navigation, to make phone calls and read messages that are pursuant to an emergency. They may also view weather alerts.
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