Florida Ban On Distracted Driving

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Ryan Gorman
Ryan Gorman signed this petition

This is an effort by 970 WFLA's Ryan Gorman for Floridians to join together to voice support for Florida House Bill 107, filed by Florida State Representative Jackie Toledo, and Senate Bill 76, filed by Senator Wilton Simpson. This proposal will not only ban texting, but it will also ban the act of touching or holding a phone while driving in the state of Florida. 

From the Tampa Bay Times: "Florida is one of just four states where texting while driving is considered a "secondary offense," which means a driver can't be pulled over by an officer simply for texting on their cell phones. Driver's can only be cited for texting while driving if they were pulled over for committing another “primary" offense. Even then, the state penalty for texting while driving is a $20 citation that doesn't add any points on a driver's record."

Under the bill proposed by Rep. Jackie Toledo, a driver could be pulled over by an officer for distracted driving just by holding their cell phones while behind the wheel. That’s all the proof an officer would need, eliminating the need for the driver’s phone to be searched for proof that it was being used while driving. 

Also from the Tampa Bay Times: "Forty-six states have laws on the books that make texting while driving a primary offense, and 16 have enacted a similar "hands-free" ban, Toledo said. House Bill 107 was modeled after similar legislation in Georgia that became law in July. In the first month the new law was in place, Toledo said Georgia saw a 25 percent reduction in vehicular fatalities. In Florida, where officials counted more than 50,000 crashes caused by distracted drivers in 2017, Toledo said a similar law could save hundreds of lives."

It is time to take distracted driving seriously in Florida, and we believe these bills are a good step in doing just that. People's lives depend on it. Join Ryan Gorman and "PM Tampa Bay" in signing this petition to voice your support for a ban on distracted driving.