WUFT News

Florida Senate committee approves bill banning texting while driving

By on February 8th, 2013

Florida is one of five states that does not outlaw texting while driving, but state lawmakers appear close to changing that with a proposed bill.

The Florida Senate Transportation Committee unanimously approved a bill Wednesday that would make texting while driving a traffic offense.

University of Florida student Kimberly Percuoco knows firsthand the dangers of texting while driving.

“I was texting like an idiot, and there was a bus in front of me with a few cars behind it,” Percuoco said. “I slammed on my brakes, rear-ended the person in front of me, and the lady, of course, wanted to press charges. And I got a $187 ticket.”

Senate bill 52 aims to crack down on texting behind the wheel by making it a secondary offense, which means drivers could be fined for texting if they are pulled over for something else.

Ben Tobias, Gainesville Police Department spokesman, said the bill is the first step toward making texting and driving a serious offense.

“A seatbelt infraction for the longest time was a secondary offense,” Tobias said. “Now that we see that seatbelts are now a primary offense, maybe this could be a steppingstone for a texting ordinance where it’ll move into a primary offense some time soon.”

Traffic laws against hazardous driving are already in place, but cell phone use is often the cause of careless driving, Tobias said.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates drivers are more than 23 times more likely to get in an accident when texting behind the wheel.

Percuoco said she doesn’t want to have to worry about getting another ticket or getting in another accident.

The bill must go through several more committees before reaching the Senate floor, but a similar bill is also pending in the House.

Emily Stanton edited this online.


This entry was posted in Florida and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
  • J.R.

    SilentPocket™ provides a tool to help not only teens but everyone from
    being distracted by cell phones. One of these tools is the SilentPocket. If we
    start getting people to use the SilentPocket™ “It will save lives” Out
    site out of mind. Helps prevent texting and driving. Voicemail rings, beeps,
    blings or vibes will not be heard. Voicemail, Texts and email will be received
    once the device is taken out of the SilentPocket. Get informed at Silent-pocket

 

More Stories in Florida

First Magnitude Brewing Company in Gainesville fills growlers in the 32-ounce size (left) and the gallon size (right). A longstanding ban on the popular 64-ounce growler prevents Florida craft breweries from filling or selling containers of that size.

Lawmakers Pass Bill To Aid Craft Brewers, End Growler War

Senate Bill 186 could end a long war between craft brewers and big beverage distributors over regulation of beer sales. The bill lifts the problematic requirement that craft breweries operate as tourist attractions and allows the breweries to sell beer in the popular 64-ounce, refillable “growler.”


The FSU Veterans Center is pushing for a bill to allow student veterans to pay in-state tuition. The attention their cause has received nationwide has given them hope they may succeed this year.

Bill Passed To Let Child Rape Victims Record Attackers

The Florida Legislature is sending Gov. Rick Scott a bill that would let children who are victims or potential victims of rape and other violent acts secretly record their attackers. The bill applies to victims who are under the age of 18.


bell7

Abortion Waiting Period Bill Goes To Florida Governor

A bill to require a 24-hour waiting period for abortions is headed to Republican Gov. Rick Scott’s desk. The Senate voted 26-13 for the measure Friday after about an hour of debate.


The Alachua County Clerk of Court, located at 201 East University Ave., remained closed Saturday, April 18 during Operation Green Light. Assistant Clerk of Court Edward Stiles said that it would be too expensive to remain open for the promotion.

Waived Fees Help Drivers Save Money On Traffic Citations

As an effort to help traffic violators pay off citations, Clerks in the state of Florida initiated the money saving opportunity Operation Green Light. On Saturday, Alachua County hosted the promotion to waive fees to help residents cut the cost on paying off their citations.


Screen Shot

UF Students Welcome Bill Proposing Tax-Free Textbooks

A new law in Florida could help students save money on expensive textbooks. The bill looks to eliminate the sales tax from textbooks to give students a break on the hundreds they already spend on required texts.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments