Quantcast

Florida House likely to pass texting while driving bill - Greenville, NC | News | Weather | Sports - WNCT.com

Florida House likely to pass texting while driving bill

Posted: Updated:
TALLAHASSEE, FL -

The Florida Senate has unanimously approved a bill that would make texting a secondary offense, meaning police would have to stop the vehicle for another offense, such as speeding. Florida is currently one of only five states without a ban on texting.

A first violation is a $30 fine, plus court costs. A second or subsequent violation within five years adds three points to the driver's license and a $60 fine. And if texting causes a crash, that's six points. Points lead to increased insurance rates. There are additional penalties for driving while texting in a school zone.

Texting while driving is "equivalent to drinking four beers very quickly and getting behind the wheel of a car," said Rep. Doug Holder, the Venice Republican sponsoring the bill. "We're losing people every single day because they're texting while driving and they're distracted while driving."

The ban includes typing a text or reading a text while driving. It includes tablet computers as well as mobile phones, but excludes using a "talk-to-text" feature. And it allows texting while stopped at a red light.

The bill allows the use of phone records in defense against a ticket, for instance. But some phone companies' records don't differentiate between manual texting and talk-to-text messaging.

A companion bill (SB 52) is in the Senate. A ban is supported by AT&T, the AARP, AAA, trial lawyers, businesses and state law enforcement groups. The House bill next goes to the Appropriations committee, Patronis said.

According to a preliminary report from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there were 256,443 reported crashes in 2012. In 4,841 of those crashes, a driver had been texting or otherwise using an "electronic communication device" while driving.

Drivers who text take their eyes off the road for almost 5 seconds, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which regulates the trucking industry. At 55 mph, a driver can cross the equivalent of a football field while not looking.

Thirty-nine states and the District of Columbia already have texting-while-driving bans for all drivers.

But a 2010 study by the Highway Loss Data Institute, which looks at insurance claims, said crashes didn't go down in states that banned texting by drivers. In fact, it found that reported collisions went up slightly. The researchers guessed that bans are making a bad situation worse by causing drivers, knowing it's illegal, to move their phones down and out of sight when they text. That takes their eyes even further away from the road.

 

  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • TPD claims training stories fell short

    TPD claims training stories fell short

    Thursday, August 21 2014 5:12 PM EDT2014-08-21 21:12:02 GMT
    The Tampa police department is responding to an 8 On Your Side investigation into a January shooting.The police contend the reports were incomplete and contained errors.The stories focused on a January 9th police shooting in Tampa and the lack of crisis intervention team training at T.P.D.
    The Tampa police department is responding to an 8 On Your Side investigation into a January shooting.The police contend the reports were incomplete and contained errors.The stories focused on a January 9th police shooting in Tampa and the lack of crisis intervention team training at T.P.D.
  • TPD responds to story controversy surrounding police shooting

    TPD responds to story controversy surrounding police shooting

    Thursday, August 21 2014 12:48 PM EDT2014-08-21 16:48:17 GMT
    Jason TurkJason Turk
    An 8 On Your Side investigation into police shooting and the lack of Crisis Intervention Team training at the Tampa police department is not sitting well with T.P.D.Police spokesperson Laura McElroy sent an email to News Channel 8 management with the subject line labeled, "The Rest of the Story
    An 8 On Your Side investigation into police shooting and the lack of Crisis Intervention Team training at the Tampa police department is not sitting well with T.P.D.Police spokesperson Laura McElroy sent an email to News Channel 8 management with the subject line labeled, "The Rest of the Story
  • Verizon insists on seeing Town N' Country man's birth certificate for credit report error

    Verizon insists on seeing Town N' Country man's birth certificate for credit report error

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 5:26 PM EDT2014-08-20 21:26:13 GMT
    James Woolever was shocked to find a bad mark on his credit report. Especially since it was for an "outstanding balance" from a Verizon account opened in 1979. He knew that couldn't be right, because he was just 6 years old then.
    James Woolever was shocked to find a bad mark on his credit report. Especially since it was for an "outstanding balance" from a Verizon account opened in 1979. He knew that couldn't be right, because he was just 6 years old then.
  • NewsMore>>

  • Clearwater history book creating controversy

    Thursday, August 21 2014 6:57 PM EDT2014-08-21 22:57:21 GMT
    A planned book on the 100 year anniversary of Clearwater is making some business owners angry.Clearwater will celebrate the century mark next year and the city plans to publish a book on their rich history.
    A planned book on the 100 year anniversary of Clearwater is making some business owners angry.Clearwater will celebrate the century mark next year and the city plans to publish a book on their rich history.
  • Governor proposes increase in education funding

    Governor proposes increase in education funding

    Thursday, August 21 2014 6:33 PM EDT2014-08-21 22:33:29 GMT
    File photo: Governor RIck ScottFile photo: Governor RIck Scott
    Gov. Rick Scott announced Thursday that he will propose an increase in per-pupil funding for Florida students if he is elected to a second term. His proposal calls for a $232 boost in per-student spending to $7,126. Scott and potential political opponent Charlie Crist have traded barbs on education in recent weeks, with Crist launching a bus tour around the state he called “Restore the Cuts.”Scott's proposal tops the ...
    Gov. Rick Scott announced Thursday that he will propose an increase in per-pupil funding for Florida students if he is elected to a second term. His proposal calls for a $232 boost in per-student spending to $7,126. Scott and potential political opponent Charlie Crist have traded barbs on education in recent weeks, with Crist launching a bus tour around the state he called “Restore the Cuts.”Scott's proposal tops the ...
  • Students arrive at USF Tampa for move in day

    Students arrive at USF Tampa for move in day

    Thursday, August 21 2014 6:21 PM EDT2014-08-21 22:21:26 GMT
    Dozens of events were planned this week to welcome new and returning students back to the University of South Florida for the fall semester.Nearly 5,500 students were expected to move into campus residence halls Thursday.
    Dozens of events were planned this week to welcome new and returning students back to the University of South Florida for the fall semester.Nearly 5,500 students were expected to move into campus residence halls Thursday.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Haircuts for the Homeless

    Haircuts for the Homeless

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 11:38 AM EDT2014-08-20 15:38:55 GMT
    On his days off, stylist Mark Bustos gives free haircuts to the homeless of New York City. Here are some of the transformations.
    On his days off, stylist Mark Bustos gives free haircuts to the homeless of New York City. Here are some of the transformations.
  • 59 Arrested By Greenville Police In Latest Prostitution Sting

    59 Arrested By Greenville Police In Latest Prostitution Sting

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 9:30 PM EDT2014-08-20 01:30:28 GMT
    Greenville Police released information Tuesday that 59 people were arrested in a four day long prostitution sting.
    Greenville Police released information Tuesday that 59 people were arrested in a four day long prostitution sting.
  • VIDEO: Grouper snatches shark in one bite

    VIDEO: Grouper snatches shark in one bite

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 2:44 PM EDT2014-08-20 18:44:27 GMT
    Clip of video from YouTubeClip of video from YouTube
    One bite: that's all it apparently took for a grouper to eat a 4-foot shark in a video posted to YouTube, according to user Gimbb14.
    One bite: that's all it apparently took for a grouper to eat a 4-foot shark in a video posted to YouTube, according to user Gimbb14.
Powered by WorldNow

3221 South Evans Street
Greenville N.C. 27834

Telephone: 252.355.8500
Fax: 252.355.8568
Email: newsdesk@wnct.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.