Governor Rick Scott today 5/28/13 signed SB 52 at Alonzo and Tracy Mourning Senior High School, banning the use of wireless communications devices while driving.
Governor Scott said, “As a father and a grandfather, texting while driving is something that concerns me when my loved ones are on the road. The 100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day are known as the deadliest days on the road for teenagers. We must do everything we can at the state level to keep our teenagers and everyone on our roads safe. I cannot think of a better time to officially sign this bill into law.”
The bill signed today prohibits a person from manually typing or entering multiple letters, numbers, symbols or other characters into a wireless communications device. This includes text messaging, emailing and instant messaging through smart phones.
Governor Scott was by joined representatives from AT&T, Verizon Communications, The Florida Department of Transportation, Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles and Miami Children’s Hospital, along with students and teachers from Alonzo Mourning Senior High School who signed their names to pledge to not text while driving.
Senator Nancy Detert said, “I am thrilled that Governor Scott has supported the legislature and signed this bill. Texting while driving is an issue we see on our roads every day, and the distractions it causes has negatively affected too many Floridians. Thanks to the support of the Governor and the Legislature, this new law can now lead the way to making our roads safer for Florida drivers and will help teens to form safe driving habits.”
Representative Doug Holder said, “I am proud to join the Governor today in signing SB 52. Not only will this new law encourage responsible driving, it will teach our youngest drivers to put away their phones and concentrate on the road. This will protect Florida families across the state, which is something we should all be thankful for.”
Marshall Criser, AT&T Florida- State President said, “We applaud Governor Rick Scott for signing this important legislation. Through the commitment of Sen. Nancy Detert and Representative Doug Holder, as well as the Governor and the Legislative leadership, Florida has reinforced the message that texting while driving is a deadly habit. It’s a simple message. No text is worth dying for, It Can Wait.”
Julie Jones, Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Executive Director said, “Nothing is so important that it is worth risking your life by sending a text message while behind the wheel of a vehicle. This legislation will help send the message to all drivers that they need to keep their eyes on the road, not on their cell phone.”
Ananth Prasad, Secretary of the Florida Department of Transportation said, “The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) applauds Governor Scott for signing legislation to ban texting while driving. This action will be an important step to reduce distracted driving on Florida’s roadways.”
Beth Bailey, Director, Government/Education, Verizon Wireless said, “Verizon is urging to ensuring our customers and all wireless communication device users make responsible decisions behind the wheel; responsible driving should be everyone’s first priority. We are proud to join Gov. Scott and our industry today to stress to drivers of every generation, across the state of Florida, that when you’re behind the wheel it can wait.”
Dr. Narendra Kini, President and CEO of Miami Children’s Hospital said, “As a leader in pediatric care, Miami Children’s Hospital wholeheartedly supports the new law banning texting while driving. Making this activity illegal sends a clear message about the associated dangers and will reduce the number of vehicular traumas in our state, providing a safer environment for our children and for all.”
Although we at Sinclair Law support a bill banning texting while driving, this bill is a secondary law which means it really has no teeth. Police officers cannot pull someone over just for texting alone. They have to have another reason and then they can address somone who has been texting. If someone is found guilty of texting, its a $30 fine. Some parking tickets are more than that. Oh well, it’s a start.